Hardik Pandya has revealed how he ended up aggravating his ankle injury during the 2023 World Cup.

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India were going great guns at the 2023 World Cup when during a league game against Bangladesh, Pandya suffered a freak ankle injury while bowling.

It wasn’t clear at that moment whether it was the routine twisted ankle or something more serious. Pandya had to leave the field and did not play further part in that match.

India won the game comfortably and Mohammed Shami replaced him in the XI for the remaining games. While Shami had an outstanding tournament, Pandya’s absence forced India to change their balance, as they didn’t have a backup seam-bowling all-rounder who could take his place.

It eventually affected India in the final as they didn’t have enough firepower in their lower order to take them to a par score after their top and middle order couldn’t put up the big scores.

Since then, Pandya has not played a single international game, but is set to make a comeback in IPL 2024. Having made a move to Mumbai Indians – that too as captain – from Gujarat Titans, Pandya will be back where he started his IPL journey from.

Ahead of the start of the new season, Pandya spoke to the host broadcasters Star about he pushed to recover quickly from his ankle injury during the World Cup and how it ended up backfiring.

“I had prepared for the World Cup for more than a year,” Pandya said. “It was a freak injury during the match. The injury was said to be for 25 days, and that would mean I would miss the rest of the World Cup.

“But I pushed. I told the management that I would return after five days. I got injections done on my ankle in three places. I had to remove blood from my ankle because of the swelling. I wanted to give everything.”

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Pandya was aware of the risks involved in pushing for quick recovery, but he wanted to give it his all in an attempt to be fit for the latter stages of the World Cup.

“At one point I knew that if I kept pushing, I might be injured for a long time, but for me it was never the answer. Even if there was a one percent chance I could be with the team, I would do it.

“While pushing for that, I had a re-occurrence which eventually became a three-month injury. I was aiming to run when I could not walk after pushing for 10 days but I missed out.”