‘Everything we do is for you, Papa’: Emotional Krunal Pandya dedicates ODI debut to late father

Pune: After a blistering knock of unbeaten 58 from the all-rounder to take over the record of fastest one-day international (ODI) fifty by a debutant, emotional Krunal Pandya on Tuesday dedicated it to his father who passed away in January following a cardiac arrest.

“This innings was for my dad. It was very emotional,” a teary-eyed Krunal told at the post-match presentation, to presenter Murali Kartik. As Krunal broke down in tears, Kartik asked him to take his time. The interview was then cut short.

Cameras then showed him embracing his younger brother Hardik Pandya. Both of them shared an emotional moment.

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Later, Kunal took to his social media accounts to write: “Papa, with every ball you were always on my mind and in my heart. Tears rolled down my face as I felt your presence with me..”

Hardik Pandya too, did not seem less proud as his brother received his debutant ODI cap and went on to play a record-breaking knock. When Krunal reached his half-century and raised his bat to the heavens in mark of respect for his father, Hardik was at boundary rope applauding while controlling his tears.

“Papa would be proud. He’s smiling down on you bhai and sent an early birthday gift for you,” Hardik wrote. The limited-overs specialist, who also plays for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier league, turns 30 today.

Krunal Pandya, who came out to bat in the 41st over after Hardik was bowled out, steered India to a total of 317/5 along with right-hand batsman KL Rahul in the first ODI against England. His 31-ball 58 runs were laced with seven fours and two sixes.

Krunal also went on to bowl for ten overs in the second innings, with an economy of 5.90 and picked England’s seamer Sam Curran’s wicket.

Team India went to establish a 1-0 lead in three-match ODI series.

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