Mumbai Indians all-rounder Krunal Pandya paid a fitting and emotional tribute to his late father in a candid chat on Twitter on Monday (April 5). As the team gears up to open their IPL 2021 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore later this week, the eldest of the Pandya brothers spoke about his last chat with his father and the way forward for Mumbai as they begin their title defence.
In a video clip that spans close to three minutes, Krunal Pandya said it was a difficult two months.
"One thing what I have realized is that the life which I have got, or we have got as a family, whether it is Hardik, me and the entire family, a lot of hard work, sacrifices, struggles, has been done that by that man," Krunal Pandya said.
"So we just say that 'hum log sirf phal kha rahe seeds basically unhe ne dal le aur grow kiye' (we are just the seeds of the fruit and were nurtured by our father), and now when he is not there, and so many good things are happening, you just feel that somewhere down the line a part of my heart has gone with him," said the Mumbai Indians all-rounder.
Krunal Pandya revealed the last conversation he had with his late father:
"Just two days before his death on the 16th, he called me on the 14th. He saw one of my Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy matches, which was in Baroda. He told me, "I have seen your knock, I have seen you play since the age of six. But one thing I can tell you, after watching this knock, is that your time will come now."
"So I was just joking around. I said, "Dad, I've been playing for the last five years, I've played for India, I've done well. We just won the IPL trophy!" My father replied, Whatever you have done till now is fine, but I just feel your time will come." These were his last words to me. He passed away two days later," revealed Krunal Pandya.
The Pandya brothers lost their father Himanshu Pandya to cardiac arrest in January this year.
This is not the first time Krunal Pandya has paid a heartfelt tribute to his father. Soon after he became a sensation on his ODI debut for India, which saw him blast a whirlwind 26-ball-50 and stitch a 112-run partnership with KL Rahul, Krunal Pandya paid homage to his father during the mid-innings interview.
Krunal Pandya's all about "The Process"
Krunal also shed light on "the process," saying the Mumbai Indians team did what they wanted last season in their run to winning the trophy.
"Obviously winning the IPL is a big thing. It was what we prepared during the lockdown, as a team, as an individual, that's what we wanted, and that's what we did. So it was happy, but again, the focus has always been on the process. Yes, we have done, we have achieved something, but what's next," Krunal Pandya signed off.
Krunal Pandya has been one of Mumbai's best performers over the last few seasons. His tight bowling spell and ability to tonk boundaries at will make him a valued asset for the Mumbai Indians.