‘Disappointed’ Pathan wants BCA to investigate Hooda-Krunal row

Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan has extended his support to all-rounder Deepak Hooda after the latter stormed out of Baroda camp, alleging mis-behaviour by captain Krunal Pandya.

Pathan said that such incidents have “adverse effects” on a player.

On Monday, Hooda had reportedly written to the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) to inform them about his unavailability, claiming that Pandya had repeatedly abused him in front of other players and stopped him from training during the recent camp for the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

“During the difficult times of this pandemic wherein mental health of a player is of utmost importance as they have to stay in a bio-bubble as well as keep themselves focused on the game, such incidents may have adverse effects on a player and should be avoided,” Pathan said in a statement on social media.

Pathan, who played for Baroda for 17 years before finally moving to Jammu and Kashmir as a player-cum-mentor, further urged the BCA to look into the matter.

“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 is indeed shocking and disheartening. No player should be treated like this,” he said.

“Requesting all the members of the BCA to look into this and condemn such actions since they are not good for the game of cricket,” he added.

The 36-year-old — who played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is for the Indian team — further took the opportunity to remind the BCA about dropped two players who had done well in the last edition of the T20 tournament.

“In the recent past, there have been episodes wherein the deserving young talents who gave performed well and under the age of 30 have been overlooked during the selection. Also, the likes of Aditya Waghmode who was the highest run scorer for the Baroda team in the last season of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy scoring 364 runs and Swapnil Singh, who had an all-round performance scoring 216 runs and took 10 wickets, were overlooked,” he wrote.