Krunal Pandya steps down as Baroda captain

Under Pandya's captaincy, the team had an underwhelming run in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where they finished last in Group B.

All-rounder Krunal Pandya has decided to step down as Baroda team captain from the forthcoming domestic season. The 30-year-old informed the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) president Pranav Amin through email on Friday evening.

In his email, which was accessed by The Indian Express, Pandya wrote, “This is to put on record that I will be unavailable to lead Baroda in the current domestic season. However, I will be available for selection to play for the team. I will offer my best as a team member and player to Baroda cricket. My support and contribution will always be in the best interest of the team.”

Under Pandya’s captaincy, the team had an underwhelming run in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where they finished last in Group B. The team managed to win just one game in five matches and failed to qualify for the knock-outs for the domestic T20 tournament.

In the five games, Pandya scored 87 runs with one half century and took five wickets at an economy rate of 5.94. This came under the charge of new Baroda coach Dav Whatmore, whose tenure at the team got off to a disappointing start.

It is understood that BCA will now appoint veteran Kedar Devdhar as captain while left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt is likely to be appointed vice-captain of the team for upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy, which is scheduled to be played next month. Devdhar had previously captained the team to the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy last year.

Pandya took over as skipper two seasons ago, but his time as captain was marred by a few controversies.

Last year, Deepak Hooda, who later moved to Rajasthan, had written an email to BCA where he had made a series of allegations about Pandya after he had spat with the Mumbai Indians player.

“At this moment, I am demoralised, depressed and under pressure. As from the past few days, my team captain Mr Kurnal Pandiya is using abusing language towards me in front of my teammates and also other state teams who have come for participation at Reliance Stadium Vadodara,” Hooda, who represented Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, wrote.

Hooda later decided to move on from BCA and represented Rajasthan this season.

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