Swashbuckling all-rounder Hardik Pandya has made an emphatic return to cricket with all-round performance for Reliance 1 in the ongoing DY Patil Cup. Meanwhile, he sparked a new controversy by wearing the Team India helmet which is not allowed barring international matches. The Baroda cricketer is likely to get a warning from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) soon.
In 2014, BCCI has asked the match referees to ensure that no cricketer sports the BCCI logo while featuring in a domestic match as it will be considered a violation of the association’s code. Moreover, the clothing regulations clearly say that you have to tape the BCCI logo if you plan to use the same helmet in domestic matches like the one you wear while playing for India.
“The rule has been there from the start of the season but has only been implemented in all earnestness during the recently-concluded Deodhar Trophy final between West Zone and East Zone,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by PTI in 2014.
Hardik Pandya was seen sporting Team India's helmet on his return to action which could land the cricketer in trouble. Speaking about cricket, the flamboyant cricketer impressed with both bat and ball. He came out to bat at No.4 in the T20 game and played the 38-run knock off just 25 deliveries which included one four and four sixes. The Baroda cricketer also left an impression with the ball scalping three wickets.
Meanwhile, chairman of selectors MSK Prasad closely monitored the all-rounder's fitness level in his first game following back surgery from the stands. The support staff of his IPL franchise Mumbai Indians was also present in the ground to watch him from close quarters.
Notably, Hardik Pandya has been struggling with a back injury for a long time now. He underwent surgery last year and was under rehabilitation. He was picked for India A's tour to New Zealand; however, failed to regain fitness. The cricketer can return to action when India host South Africa in the ODIs before donning the Mumbai Indians jersey in the upcoming IPL.