KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya bring football jersey swap to the cricket field
KL Rahul, who carried Kings XI Punjab to the verge of victory at the Wankhede Stadium, exchanged his jersey with Mumbai Indians’ all-rounder Hardik Pandya after the MI-KXIP match.
The move came about as a mark of respect and sportsmanship between the two opposition players. We have long seen the tradition of exchanging jerseys on the football field. After the match, Rahul said that he wanted to bring this practice in cricket as well.
The encounter between MI and KXIP was a humdinger as the pendulum kept oscillating from one side to the other. Chasing a target of 187, KL Rahul’s 94-run knock took Punjab on the doorstep of victory. However, the Karnataka lad was dismissed off a well disguised slower delivery from Jasprit Bumrah as the team fell short by 3 runs.
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The opening batsman was distraught after the result as it meant an effective ouster of KXIP from the tournament. Trying to lift up his spirits, Hardik Pandya called for a jersey swap and Rahul was quick to respond. The gesture brought back smiles on the faces of the disappointed KXIP fans.
After the match, Rahul in an interview said: “Look we’ve seen this happening in football and obviously Hardik and I are good friends and I felt it would be nice to collect some jerseys and then bring the tradition to cricket as well. We didn’t speak about this earlier and as we’re talking now, I said give me your jersey and he wanted my jersey too and so we exchanged jerseys, it’s a nice thing.
“That’s the beauty of the IPL that we play really hard to win. Though we play 300 days of cricket together, during the two months when we play IPL, there’s no friendship once we step on to the field. I want to take him down, he wants to take my wicket. That’s how the event is. It’s not just between me and him, but all the eight teams compete by heart and that’s what makes it the biggest tournament in the world,” the opening batsman added.
After this win, MI remain in contention for a playoff berth and will next lock horns with DD on Sunday.
© Cricket World