Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya (AFP Photo)

Former India international Kiran More is hopeful the controversy Hardik Pandya finds himself embroiled in will help him grow as a person and also serve as a lesson. Pandya recently revealed how it was More who pushed him to channelise his energy into playing cricket as initially he wasn’t interested in the sport.

Pandya alongside his India teammate KL Rahul appeared in an Indian chat show and drew flak for their remarks directed at women. The storm resulted in the BCCI suspending the duo from international cricket pending an enquiry. (Vinod Rai wants ‘quick inquiry’, Diana Edulji fears ‘cover up’)

The decision meant the duo wouldn’t be a part of the ongoing ODI series against Australia and might even face the danger of missing the New Zealand tour as well.

“We all make mistakes and we all learn from them,” More told mid-day. “He is new to international cricket and I am sure he has learnt his lessons [from this incident]. I am sure, he will be a changed person. We will have a heart-to-heart conversation once he is back. Hardik is a very nice guy and an honest person. He has reached this level purely on his talent and skills. He is a hard worker. His priority is cricket and that will never change till the time he is playing.”

More, who played 49 Tests and 94 ODIs between 1986 and 1993, is hopeful BCCI would not be too harsh on the Baroda allrounder who needs as much game time as possible ahead of the all-important ICC World Cup later this year.

“Since he was making a comeback into the team after an injury, it is important he gets enough game time [playing ODIs] before the World Cup [in June]. He is an important cog in the Indian team and lends a lot of balance. I am hoping he will be allowed to play in the New Zealand series. The Indian team and the BCCI have invested a lot in nurturing Hardik. I am confident all those efforts will not go waste,” More said.