“To Hell With Spirit Of The Game”: Hardik Pandya’s Strong Take On Running Non-Striker Out


India all-rounder Hardik Pandya was at his best during the T20 World Cup Super 12 Group B match against Pakistan as he first took three wickets and then he played a crucial knock of 40 runs to help the Rohit Sharma-led side defeat register a four-wicket win. The year 2022 has been phenomenal for Hardik, as he first led Gujarat Titans to IPL title in their inaugural season, and then he has given some memorable performances for the national side.

Hardik has time and time again shown that he has a clear understanding of the game, and in a latest, he has given the most sensible take on running out the non-striker if he/she is backing up too far ahead when the bowler is about to deliver the ball. This mode of dismissal came under severe scrutiny once again when India’s Deepti Sharma ran-out England’s Charlie Dean during an ODI.

“We need to stop making a fuss about this running out the non-striker. It is a rule, as simple as that. To hell with the spirit of the game, if it is there, it is there. Personally, I have no problem with it. If I am out of my crease, and someone runs me out, it is fine. It is my mistake,” Hardik said on the latest episode of ‘ICC Review’.

Hardik also explained why he thinks that match-ups are “over-rated” in the shortest format of the game. “Matchups don’t work for me, see where I bat and the situation I get into, I do not get the option of matchups. You see matchups are more for the people who are batting in Top 3 or 4. For me, it is just the situation. There have been times, when I would like to take on a bowler, but if the situation does not demand it, I do not take that risk as it is going to harm my team,” said Hardik.

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“I am never okay with that. Matchups, it is over-rated. I do not mind saying it, in T20 cricket, it is over-rated. In ODIs and Tests, it might work but in T20s, I do not believe it. Yes, I have not won a World Cup, but I have won other tournaments and I do not think I have ever worried about matchups,” he added.

Lastly, talking about his ambitions, Hardik said: “Ever since I have made a comeback, the ambition is to the best version of myself and to get the best out of myself. I am running towards, not greatness I would say, but excellence. I am running towards excellence, if I want to achieve something, I think it would be excellence, not the performance. At the end of my career, if I can say to myself, you know what Hardik, you achieved excellence at one point of time, it would be great.”

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