Deepak Hooda Quits Baroda After Spat With Krunal Pandya Last Season, Irfan Pathan ‘Utterly Disappointed’

Deepak Hooda has quit Baroda to join Rajasthan ahead of the 2021 domestic season, Sportstar reported. The off-spinning all-rounder was involved in a tussle with senior all-rounder and captain Krunal Pandya last season, following which he was suspended by Baroda Cricket Association.

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“It is definitely a sad feeling to quit Baroda, for whom I have played throughout my career. But I spoke to my coaches, well wishers and thought this was the right decision for me,” Hooda told Sportstar.

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Hooda’s decision has upset former India and Baroda star Irfan Pathan. “How many cricket association will loose out on a player who is in the Indian team probables list? Deepak Hooda leaving baroda cricket is a huge loss. He could have easily given his services for another ten years as he is still young. As a Barodian It’s utterly disappointing!” he tweeted.

Hooda had walked out of the team before the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy after an altercation with captain Krunal Pandya. Hooda, who has played 46 first-class and 123 T20s for Baroda had claimed that Pandya stopped him from practising ‘showing his Dadagiri’.

“Today I was practising in nets and doing my preparation for tomorrow’s game with the permission of Head Coach Mr Prabhkar. Then Krunal came in nets started misbehaving with me. I told him that I’m doing my preparation with the permission of head coach. He told me that ‘I’m the captain , who is the head coach? I am the overall of Baroda team. Then he stopped my practice showing his Dadagiri,” Hooda had alleged in a letter to BCA.

He was then suspended for the rest of the season.

“The apex council decided that Hooda won’t be considered to represent the Baroda team for the current domestic season. The decision was taken after considering reports from team manager and coach about the incident as well as communication with Hooda,” Satyajit Gaekwad, chairman, BCA press and publicity committee was quoted as saying by Times of India.

BCA chief executive officer Shishir Hattangadi had told Cricinfo that investigation showed Hooda was exaggerating the incident. As per Hattangadi, Pandya had only ‘insisted’ the players, including Hooda, to do fielding drills, and Hooda instead carried on with his batting drills. An argument ensued as Pandya “exercised his authority” to maintain “decorum” of the team environment, as per Hattangadi.

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