All-rounder Deepak Hooda will be representing Rajasthan in the 2021-22 Indian domestic season after parting ways with Baroda in controversial circumstances. Hooda has informed of his decision to the Baroda Cricket Association after an infamous spat with fellow state all-rounder Krunal Pandya.
Hooda had a troublesome last winter with Baroda where he walked out of the team’s bio-bubble just a day before the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 was about to commence in January. The reason being an ugly altercation with Krunal. The BCA subsequently banned Hooda for the rest of the 2020-21 season for disciplinary reasons.
Months later, Hooda is now ending his stint with Baroda despite being picked for the conditioning camp that the team were to have before the next round of domestic tournaments. Hooda had put forward his request for a NOC to BCA CEO Shishir Hattangadi, who revealed the same to Cricbuzz.
“He asked for No Objection Certificate and it has been given to him. We wish him well. We picked him for the conditioning camp on 15th of June. Nobody heard from him, the coaches this year… he was not responding, so I called him around the 30th of June, but no response.”
“Then he called me at night on the 30th saying that he will report on the 10th of July because he is travelling. Basically, he sent the letter that he will report on 10th of July for training. And on 13th – that is two days back – he sent a letter saying he is looking at changing his team, changing his state.”Hattangadi told Cricbuzz.
While BCA’s handling of the Krunal issue would’ve disappointed Hooda, Hattangadi hinted the BCA officials weren’t at all pleased by how the cricketer walked out of the bio-bubble used for the health safety of everyone without informing the authorities. But he also pointed out the fact that they selected Hooda for the team camp, stressing that he was very much part of their plans.
“The very fact that the selectors picked him for the conditioning camp, it suggests you know he was available for selection but he decided to move on,”said Hattangadi, the former Mumbai first-class batsman.
Baroda’s loss is Rajasthan’s gain, as the Rajasthan Cricket Association President Vaibhav Gehlot welcomed Hooda to the state team with open arms.
“We are excited to have Deepak Hooda in the side,”Gehlot told Cricbuzz.
Having made his senior domestic debut back in 2013, Hooda has played 46 first-class, 68 List A and 131 T20 games in his career. The aggressive right-hand batsman has made 2,908 runs in first-class cricket at an average of 42.76 and has gone at only 2.92 runs per over with his useful left-arm spin bowling.
In List A cricket, Hooda has an average of 38.84 and strike-rate of 93.63 with the bat for 2,059 runs and 34 wickets with an economy rate of 4.40. He also has a T20 strike-rate of 136.05 with 1,834 runs to his name.
Hooda’s departure is a loss for Baroda since he added to their balance and the depth across formats, something that got him recognition in the Indian Premier League as well. Immediately after impressing many with his raw talent at the 2014 U-19 World Cup in UAE, Hooda was picked by inaugural season champions Rajasthan Royals at the auction for the following year’s IPL.
Hooda, who currently represents Punjab Kings in the league, has now played a total of 76 games in the IPL. He has a strike-rate of 131.38 with the bat and an economy rate of 8.07 with the ball.