In a major development, all-rounder Deepak Hooda has decided to leave Baroda and is set to join Rajasthan ahead of the 2021-22 domestic season. It is being learned that Hooda, who plays for the Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has obtained a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Baroda Cricket Association.
While Hooda was sad on making the decision as he had played for Baroda throughout his career, he was prompted to take the step after discussion with his coaches, well-wishers.
It should be noted that the cricketer was suspended by the Baroda Cricket Association for leaving the bio-bubble on the eve of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy last year after a spat with team captain Krunal Pandya. Post that, however, he was allowed to participate in the IPL.
Krunal Pandya abused me in front of teammates, Hooda had alleged
"I am demoralised, depressed and under pressure. As from last some days and atleast from last couple of days, my team captain Mr. Krunal Pandya is using abusing language to me in front of my teammates and also other states teams who have come for participation at Reliance Stadium, Vadodara," ESPNcricinfo had quoted Hooda as saying in his email to the Baroda Cricket Association last season.
"I told him (Pandya) that I'm doing my preparation with the permission of head coach. He told me that "I'm the captain , who is the head coach. I am the overall of Baroda team," Hooda further added.
"I never face such a bad behaviour 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," Hooda said before saying that he would leave last year.
And now the 26-year-old has taken the big step to change his team ahead of the next season. Although nothing has been said from his end, it is likely that the spat with Krunal could have played a huge role in him taking the big call. Hooda looked in good form in IPL 2021 and had accumulated 116 runs with a best of 64 in 8 matches, striking at over 140. He even bagged a couple of wickets in the suspended season set to resume in United Arab Emirates in September.