MUMBAI, April 4: India and Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya termed the last seven months as the toughest period of his life when he �did not know what to do� in the wake of the controversy surrounding his outrage-evoking comments on women.
Pandya, who helped MI beat Chennai Super Kings in an IPL game here, was initially suspended by the BCCI and sent back to India from the Australia tour following his comments on a chat show earlier this year. Later, the suspension was provisionally lifted pending an inquiry.
The 25-year-old said he has left behind the controversy.
�It feels pretty good to help the team to win and contribute. It�s been seven months that I�ve hardly played games. They weren�t easy and I didn�t know what to do. I�ve just batted and batted. I want to improve my game every day. It�s a fantastic feeling batting like that and making your team win,� he said.
Pandya, who smashed an 8-ball 25 not out and then picked up three wickets to power MI to a 37-run win over CSK, dedicated the Man-of-the-Match award-winning performance to those who stood by him.
�I was out with injury and then some other controversy happened. I want to dedicate this Man-of-the-Match to my family and friends, who stood with me in the toughest times,� Pandya said at the post-match presentation ceremony on Wednesday night.
�Now my only focus is to play IPL and make sure India wins the World Cup.� � PTI