The spat between Krunal Pandya and Deepak Hooda has been the talk of the town recently. The fight between the two, which began in 2021, goes back to Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. A spat which began with a minor clash of egos took bigger turns as it continued.
The spat was about a skipper bossing a junior and nothing else. Hooda has been suspended by the Baroda Cricket Association from participating in the ongoing domestic season for walking out on the team before the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final. Having played 46 First-class and 123 T20s for Baroda, Hooda left the team claiming that Pandya stopped him from practising, ‘showing his Dadagiri’.
The spat further attracted the attention of cricketers like Irfan Pathan and other members of the Baroda Team. Hooda said in a public statement, ‘At this moment, I am demoralised, depressed and under pressure. As from last few days and at least from the last couple of days, my team captain Mr. Krunal 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. Today I was practising in nets and doing my preparation for tomorrow’s game with the permission of Head Coach Mr. Prabhakar. Then Krunal came into nets and started misbehaving (using bad language with me). I told him that I’m doing my preparation with the permission of the Head coach. He told me that “I’m the captain, who is the head coach? I am the overall Baroda team”. Then he stopped my practice showing his Dada Giri. He is threatening me (saying) how will you play for Baroda. I have never seen such an unhealthy atmosphere in my cricketing career till date. I’m a team man and I always keep my team above me. Sir, really, I got hurt a lot. I have respect in my game. I have values in my life.’
As stated above, Hooda was unable to play and perform at his best because of the tough circumstances: Pandya, the Baroda team captain, kept poking him and disturbed him in his preparation.
After this incident, former Team India cricketer Irfan Pathan lashed out at Krunal Pandya, saying, ‘No player should be treated like this,’ while also calling for the Baroda Cricket Association to resolve the issue. Hooda alleged that Pandya had been trying to pull him down and also threatened him by saying that he would ensure he did not play for Baroda again. ‘He is threatening me (saying) how you will play for Baroda. I have never seen such an unhealthy atmosphere in my cricketing career till date,’ Hooda said.
Addressing the matter, BCA secretary Ajit Lele confirmed that he had received an email (about the harassment) from Hooda. The BCA would decide the steps needed to be taken, Lele confirmed.
A year after the spat, Hooda, via microblogging website Twitter, expressed his brotherhood towards Krunal Pandya. What came forward as an ugly clash of egos turned out to be a simple fight amongst two ‘brothers’.