Deepak Hooda wrote a letter to Baroda Cricket Association to state his withdrawal from the squad for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, complaining about bullying from skipper Krunal Pandya.
Baroda, who are placed in Elite Group C, are scheduled to play their first match on Sunday against Uttarakhand but the unsavory incident brought a dark phase in the dressing room. Deepak Hooda, being a senior cricketer, commanded respect in the dressing room but as he revealed in the letter, he hasn’t got any from skipper Krunal Pandya.
Hooda, in the letter, addressed to Ajit Lele, stated that he is “demoralised” and “depressed” due to the conduct of his captain and will take no further part in the first domestic tournament of the season. Lele confirmed Hooda’s exit to Cricinfo.
“He has withdrawn himself from the Baroda squad and checked out of the hotel. He had a major quarrel with Krunal Pandya,” Lele told ESPNcricinfo.
Hooda wrote in the email that Pandya had directed “abusive language” towards him in front of the teammates and the opposition team during the training sessions this week.
“I am demoralised, depressed and under pressure. As from last some days and at least from last couple of days, my team captain Mr. Kurnal Pandya is using abusive language to me in front of my teammates and also other states teams who have come for participation at Reliance Stadium, Vadodara,” Hooda said in the email.
“I told him [Pandya] that I’m doing my preparation with the permission of the head coach [Bairgond]. He told me that “I’m the captain, who is the head coach. I am the overall of the Baroda team.” Then he stopped my practice showing his dadagiri (bullying).”
Hooda reveals of threatening from Pandya
Hooda further wrote that the elder Pandya was trying to threaten him about his place in the Baroda team. Hooda further stated that he had never experienced “such an unhealthy atmosphere” in his career.
“I (have) never face(d) such a bad behavior given by a team captain. I’m a team man and I always keep my team above me. Sir, really I got hurt a lot I have a respect in my game. I have values in my life.”
“In view of the 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.”
The BCA Secretary is now awaiting the response from both team manager and Pandya before deciding the next course of action.