After a long time, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournament is all set to go all guns blazing on January 10 onwards. It is good to see domestic cricket return after a long time, especially when the coronavirus epidemic sabotaged the calendar of various sporting events all across the globe last year.
The upcoming competition will see as many as 38 teams taking part in the tournament. Coming to the point, Baroda cricket team is in Elite Group C and will lock horns with Uttarakhand in their opening encounter on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Baroda cricket team was engaged in a fresh controversy. Baroda cricketer Deepak Hooda, one of the prolific players in the team withdrew his name from the whole season after allegedly having a heated tussle with skipper Krunal Pandya.
It is to be noted that Deepak Hooda was appointed the vice-captain of the team when the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) announced the 22-member squad last week.
It has been learnt that India international Krunal Pandya and Deepak indulged in a heated argument while practicing at the Reliance Stadium in Vadodara ahead of their opening fixture.
Baroda cricketer Hooda, in a written mail to the Baroda Cricket Association claimed that Krunal Pandya crossed his limits and abused him. He also further wrote that he will no longer take part in the team in the tournament.
It is also believed that all-rounder Krunal Pandya had threatened the Baroda cricketer during an argument. If reports doing the rounds are to be believed, then Hooda was under severe mental pressure. However, the actual reason for their argument is not known.
After all this ruckus, Baroda announced 17-man squad for Sunday’s encounter and Hooda is not part of the game. Hooda’s absence is indeed a big blow to Baroda as he has a plethora of experience in playing as many as 46 First Class matches, 68 List A and 123 T20 matches in his cricketing career.
Earlier, Yusuf Pathan was excluded from Baroda squad for the first time in a decade and now the team lacks quite a bit of experience in their batting department. It will be quite interesting to see how Baroda approach the matches in the upcoming season.
Hooda’s IPL career in numbers
Deepak Hooda plied his trade for Kings XI Punjab in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League at the United Arab Emirates. He represented KXIP franchise in as many as 7 matches and scored 101 runs.
He might have scored fewer runs in the matches played but he remained not out on 4 occasions, which goes to show that he got less chances to play. He faced only 71 balls in the season.
The right-handed batsman chipped in with an unbeaten 62 in the final game of the league stage. Talking about his overall IPL career, he played 68 matches (50 innings) and scored 625 runs. He scored 2 fifties to his name.