Watch: Pandya celebrates b'day with Gambhir, gets special advice ex-India star | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Watch: Hardik Pandya celebrates 30th birthday with Gautam Gambhir, gets special advice from 2011 World Cup winner

Oct 11, 2023 10:59 PM IST

The cake was presented to Hardik by Star Sports, who are the official broadcaster of the ICC men's World Cup 2023.

India's premier all-rounder Hardik Pandya turned 30 on Wednesday and was seen cutting a cake ahead of the World Cup clash against Afghanistan at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi, which India won by eight wickets. The cake was presented to Hardik by Star Sports, who are the official broadcaster of the ICC men's World Cup 2023.

Hardik Pandya celebrates 30th birthday with Gautam Gambhir ahead of IND vs AFG clash
Hardik Pandya celebrates 30th birthday with Gautam Gambhir ahead of IND vs AFG clash

Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir was also present for the moment, a video of which was shared by Star Sports on social media.

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“First time in my life, I will be playing a match on my birthday. It will be enjoyable,” said Hardik after cutting the cake. He also informed that his wife Natasa Stankovic, son Agastya had arrived on time for the celebration, before adding that he was also presented with a gift by Agastya.

Gambhir then asked Pandya to frame Agastya's present to which the all-rounder agreed.

Meanwhile, Hardik did make his presence felt with the ball as he accounted for two wickets in the seven overs he bowled. After being introduced in the powerplay, Hardik opened his account with the wicket of Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who was dismissed for 21(28).

Hardik then provided India with a crucial breakthrough right when Afghanistan were making their grip stronger in the contest. Just when the pair of Azmatullah Omarzai and Hashmatullah Shahidi were guiding Afghanistan towards a big finish, Hardik broke the 121-run partnership for the fourth wicket. The wicket came after Hardik was smashed for a boundary by Azmatullah in the previous ball, thus leading to an animated celebration from the birthday boy.

Hardik headed into the contest after having an indifferent day because of an injury, which he sustained in the previous encounter against Australia. The all-rounder had hurt his middle-finger while trying to stop a ball off his own bowling. The blow had an impact on his performance and conceded 28 runs in the three overs that he bowled.

On Wednesday Hardik informed the broadcasters that there is still some pain on his finger but it was much better than what it was on Sunday and he was looking forward to putting up a better show with the ball.

Hardik didn't get a chance to bat against Afghanistan, and had scored 11 not-out against Australia.

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