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"If Deepak Hooda episode is true, it is shocking and disheartening" - Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan
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Modified 12 Jan 2021, 18:55 IST
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In the wake of the Deepak Hooda controversy, former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has requested the Baroda Cricket Association to look into the matter and condemn actions that aren't good for the game of cricket.

All-rounder Deepak Hooda quit the Baroda team, which is taking part in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, alleging that he was bullied by captain Krunal Pandya.

Irfan Pathan noted that during a time as difficult as the pandemic wherein the mental health of a player may be fragile, such incidents may have adverse effects on a player and should be avoided. The ex-Baroda skipper posted on Twitter:

“Being an ex-captain of Baroda and having mentored many youngsters, I understand how important it is to have a harmonious environment where players can feel safe, play freely and give their best for the team.
“If what I have heard about Deepak Hooda episode is true, it indeed is shocking and disheartening. No player should be treated like this.”

Irfan Pathan was also peeved over consistent performers like Swapnil Singh and Aditya Waghmode being ignored for selection.

He pointed out that Aditya Waghmode was the highest run-scorer of the Baroda team in the last Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy, having scored 364 runs. Swapnil Singh had also put in strong performances, finishing up with 216 runs and 10 wickets.

Pathan continued:

“In the recent past there have been episodes wherein the deserving young talents who have performed well and are under the age of 30 have been overlooked during the selection."
“Requesting all members of the BCA to look into this and condemn such actions since they’re not good for the game of cricket.”
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On Sunday, the BCA sought a report from the Baroda senior team manager over the Deepak Hooda controversy.

Why did Deepak Hooda withdraw from the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy?

Deepak Hooda has pulled out of Syed Mushtaq Alirophy 2021 (Image courtesy: IPLT20.com)
Deepak Hooda has pulled out of Syed Mushtaq Alirophy 2021 (Image courtesy: IPLT20.com)

In a shocking development, Baroda vice-captain Deepak Hooda pulled out of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament on Saturday, quitting the bio-bubble before Baroda's first match.

Deepak Hooda wrote to the Baroda Cricket Association claiming he was demoralised, depressed and under pressure owing to skipper Krunal Pandya’s bullying tactics.

In an email to the BCA, Deepak Hooda said:

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"I am playing cricket since the last 11 years for Baroda Cricket Association. At present, I am selected for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. I am demoralised, depressed and under pressure.
"At least for the last couple of days, my team captain Mr Krunal Pandya is using abusive language against me in front of my teammates and also other states' teams who have come here for participating in the tournament. He (Pandya) stopped me during practice, showing his dadagiri (bullying)."

Hitting back at Deepak Hooda, BCA chief executive officer Shishir Hattangadi termed his actions as "misconduct”. According to ESPNCricinfo, in a hard-hitting email to the cricketer, Hattangadi wrote:

"Firstly, by walking away from a 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.
"There is no team that doesn't have differences but to walk away and talk to the media giving only your side of the story is a case of seeking unwarranted publicity and putting self before the game. 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."
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Meanwhile, Baroda defeated Himachal Pradesh by four wickets in their Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy encounter on Tuesday, chasing down a target of 110 with one over to spare.

Published 12 Jan 2021, 18:55 IST
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