The Baroda cricket team suffered a blow on the eve of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as its vice-captain, Deepak Hooda, withdrew from the tournament after an alleged argument with captain Krunal Pandya.
In a letter to the Baroda Cricket Association - a copy of which is in possession of Sportstar - Hooda, who has featured in 46 first-class and 123 T20s for Baroda, said that Krunal ‘abused him’ during a practice session at the Reliance Stadium on Saturday.
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“I am playing cricket since last 11 years from Baroda cricket Association. At present, I am selected for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. I am demoralised, depressed and under pressure. As from last some days and at least from last couple of days, my team captain Mr. Krunal Pandiya is using abusive language to me in front of my team-mates and also other states teams who have come for participation at Reliance Stadium Vadodara,” Hooda wrote in the letter.
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It is believed that Hooda and Krunal got involved in a heated argument during a training session, where the India international allegedly threatened and abused Hooda. “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 alleged.
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“He is trying to pull me down all the time .He is threatening me how you will play for Baroda, I will see you. I have never seen such a unhealthy atmosphere in my cricketing career till date. I have represented at all levels of cricket from Baroda cricket Association only. Also, I’m playing IPL from last 7 years. I have got a good records also in my cricketing career till date,” the seasoned campaigner said.
Hooda played for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL this season. “I have played a lot of cricket with great international players and captains as well till date. But I never face such a bad behaviour given by a team captain. I’m a team man and I always keep my team above me… In view of above facts, I am unable to play and perform my best under circumstances where every time our Baroda team captain poking me and disturbing me in my preparation,” Hooda, who has been part of India-U19, India A teams, in the past said.
Sources close to the development confirmed that Hooda has already left the team’s bio-bubble on Saturday evening.
Neither Krunal nor Hooda were available for a comment. BCA secretary Ajit Lele told this publication that they have already asked for a report from the manager. “I have sought a report from the team manager by Sunday. Once we receive that, we can decide on the future course of action,” Lele said.