The Indian domestic season is finally going begin with the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, which is starting on January 10. All the 38 domestic teams will participate in the tournament, which ends on January 31. Baroda is one of the teams to reckon with some known faces. However, before the start of the tournament, the West Zone side has faced a major set back.
Prominent player Deepak Hooda has pulled out of the tournament. According to the reports, the all-rounder had got involved in an argument with the Baroda skipper Krunal Pandya. It has been reported that the incident took place during a training session of the Baroda team at the Reliance Stadium in Vadodara. The team is set to play their opening match against Uttarakhand on Sunday.
A few days ago, Hooda was named the deputy of Krunal for this tournament, when the 22 member squad was announced initially. It should be noted that Hooda has led the Baroda side in domestic cricket for the last few years. In an interesting turn of events, the 25-year-old player has reportedly informed Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) that he was abused by the captain, Krunal during their recent duel.
The young batsman let the BCA officials know the reason for him stepping down from the side. The entire incident was also covered by a local TV news channel, TV9 Gujrati. Hooda also informed the BCA officials that Pandya had abused him in front of coach Prabhakar, Munaf Patel and other young team members. Baroda has now announced a trimmed-down squad with 17 players and Hooda is not among them.
Deepak Hooda has been a key player for Baroda for the past few years. He has experience of playing 46 first-class, 68 List A and 123 T20 matches. In the absence of experienced players like Yusuf Pathan and Hardik Pandya, the young all-rounder would have been of great use for Baroda in the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
The hard-hitting batsman had also featured in the IPL 2020. Playing for the Kings XI Punjab, he didn't get regular opportunities. However, he smashed a beautiful 30-ball 62 in the team's last league match.