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‘Block it out, it’s all irrelevant’ – Steve Smith to Hardik Pandya on crowd abuse during IPL 2024

Hardik Pandya and Steve Smith. (Source -Twitter/X)

Ace Australian batter Steven Smith suggested Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Hardik Pandya to “block out” the boos from the fans during the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL 2024). Hardik, who has been encountering extreme dislike from the fans since being appointed as MI captain was abused by the crowd during their clash against Gujarat Titans and Sunrisers Hyderabad, respectively.

Smith indicated that this hatred is ‘irrelevant’ as nobody knows what the player is going through. He also stated that the MI captain needed support from his teammates, including former skipper Rohit Sharma.

“I’d try and just say, to block it out, it’s all irrelevant. No one outside knows what you are going through. No one [from outside] is in that change room,” Smith said on ESPNcricinfo’s TimeOut show. 

He was further asked about the possibility of continuous abuse and criticism given that Mumbai fell short in their first two games. The Australian emphasized the chance that it may affect Hardik as he hasn’t experienced that before in front of an Indian crowd.

Also read: IPL 2024: Hardik Pandya pushes Lasith Malinga away after SRH defeat, draws further criticism from MI fans

“Personally, for me, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t care. I don’t pay any attention. You know it’s all white noise, but certainly players do hear things and everyone’s entitled to their own emotions and how they respond to those. So is it affecting him [Hardik]? Maybe. It’s possible. He probably hasn’t experienced that before in, in any walk of life. So it’s natural, I suppose, and particularly being in India and a star Indian player, to be in that position where some fans are booing you, it’s certainly something he wouldn’t have experienced,” he added.

2017 was an enjoyable season and we had some success that year: Smith

Steven Smith, who was named as Rising Pune Supergiant captain replacing MS Dhoni, opened up about his experience playing in the IPL 2017. The 24-year-old stated that it was a challenging moment for Smith, while also noting Dhoni’s support throughout the tournament.

Also read: ‘There’s a new captain, ah’ – MS Dhoni cheekily reminds host of change in CSK leader

“It was an enjoyable season and we had some success that year [2017], I suppose, which helped as well. But MS was great with everything that he did. He was supportive, he helped me in any way that he could. He was great behind the stumps, obviously. He’s got a great view of what’s going on in the game and the angles that sort of take place on the field, and was able to sort those out and get people in the right areas,” Smith said.

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