Two days after Baroda batsman and vice-captain, Deepak Hooda, who withdrew his name from the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament, exiting the team bio-bubble a day before the team’s first match, following a verbal spat with captain Krunal Pandya, finds himself in a hot soup.
In a mail addressed to Deepak Hooda by Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) chief, Shishir Hattangadi questioned the professionalism of the player, stating that he puts himself ahead of the team.
“I am in receipt of your letter making yourself unavailable to play for Baroda. Firstly, by walking away from the responsibility of vice-captaincy and leaving the team because of a difference you have sent out a message that you hold yourself above the team and that embodies your attitude and commitment to your team.
“As management, we are disappointed that you have gone into the media and sought self sympathy rather than sorting out issues that a seasoned sportsperson like yourself ought to have done in such situations.” wrote Shishir Hattangadi.
Hattangadi also questioned the immature behaviour shown by the seasoned campaigner, and wrote that the player should have spoken to the management and association before going to the media.
Baroda Cricket Association seeks report after Deepak Hooda’s exit post-spat with Krunal Pandya
“You have mentioned in your mail of how long you have served the association and how you call yourself a team man and yet showcased immaturity in the way you have handled an issue. You had no business to go to the media before starting your case with the team management, the association, the president, and the secretary,” he said.
The BCA chief also mentioned that the act of misconduct would be reported to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and his IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). And to make things worse, Hooda could also face sanctions.
“I have had a chat with your franchisee and I have enough reason to decipher that we will make sure we write to the BCCI of your misconduct. As an association and being custodians of this game, we will follow a zero-tolerance policy on issues.
After feedback from the team management (and others) I have reason to believe we will take up this matter as seriously within the association as we will with the BCCI and the IPL Governing Council.” he said.
“There is no team that does not have differences but to walk away and talks to the media giving only your side of the story is a case of seeking unwarranted publicity and putting self before the game,” he said.
“We accept your unavailability and will take necessary action in the best interest of the game, its values, and the reputation of the Baroda Cricket Association,” he added
Despite the chaos, Baroda got off to a decent start in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy beating Uttarakhand by five runs in their opening game. Skipper, Krunal Pandya, was the star performer as he scored 76 off 42 balls and also picked up two crucial wickets.