Hardik Pandya calls himself a 'family guy', adding that's his backbone and without them, his existence holds no importance.
Last year the India all-rounder faced severe criticism over the Koffee with Karan controversy - that even saw him being suspended. Hardik, who recently announced that he and his fiancee Natasa Stankovic are expecting their first child together, spoke on the learnings from that incident in a chat with cricket expert Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz.
“When that happened, I said to myself let's just accept it and try to correct the mistake. If I would've not accepted that mistake, that part would have still been in me. That phase does not bother me any more because my family has accepted it,” he said.
“I'm a family guy. Without family, I am no one. My family is my backbone. The Hardik Pandya you're seeing right now is because of the people behind the scenes, looking after me. They make sure that I am mentally stable and I stay happy."
Hardik said that the aftermath of the incident saw his family being abused which is what hurt him the most.
"My family got abused. My father gave an interview post the incident and people made a mockery of it. What hurt me the most was my action caused my family problems, and that's not acceptable,” said Hardik.
In other topics, Hardik spoke of former Australia captain Ricky Ponting's presence during his initial days with Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
Hardik broke into the MI team in 2015 after catching the eyes of the franchise in a domestic match and was bought for his base price of Rs 10 lakh in the auction.
He has claimed that Ponting did a lot to shape up his career and taught him the nitty-gritty of the game at a very early stage.
"Ricky Ponting was someone who looked after me the best. He looked after me like a child. I used to feel like he was my father figure there," Hardik said.
"Ricky taught me so many things, he taught me situations, he taught me mindset, how strong you should be.
"As a new boy in 2015, I used to sit next to the hoardings. Ricky used to sit down with me and speak about the game. (With all these conversations) I started learning quickly."
The all-rounder also gave an insight into teammate Jasprit Bumrah and stated the latter likes to be left alone more often than not. The two cricketers share the dressing room with Team India and also at Mumbai Indians and Hardik spoke about what it's like to be with the star pacer.
"Jassi (Bumrah) is a very different character. He's calm, but he's someone who likes to be left alone. If he has to talk to someone then he'll initiate the conversation," Hardik said.
"I can never be like him even if I try. He's knowledgeable, well-spoken, thinking 20 times before speaking. But he's someone who I enjoy being with. We have got success together and have genuinely shared success," he added.
With Agency Inputs