Deepak Hooda bounces back from darkness and uncertainty

Deepak Hooda
Deepak Hooda, the fighter. PC: Twitter

Deepak Hooda called back again to the Indian team after almost five years of being ignored. But these years were not easy for Deepak.

Even a year ago, the word’s uncertainty, darkness, and controversy was been easily added to his name. after all those black days, Deepak Hooda returned to his glory. The doors of the national team finally opened for the 26-year-old all-rounder.

The dark days

January 2021

In January last year, before a match, Syed Mushtaq Ali Deepak broke the bio bubble in the Baroda team. The reason for this was Deepak’s claim that the captain of Baroda, Krunal Pandya, had treated him rudely. Krunal even went to beat him in front of other teammates. Such serious allegations were made to the Baroda cricket authorities in writing. But to no avail. Deepak was banned to play cricket.

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After that incident, Deepak went into mental depression. He kept himself under house arrest for about two months. But that dark life did not last long. Because, besides family and a few close friends, two Pathan brothers, Yusuf and Irfan Pathan, came forward to bring cricket to his life.

January 26, 2022

Life had a different play for Deepak. His life changed in just one year. At 11 o’clock in the night, Deepak got the news that his life had changed. He has been included in the squad for the upcoming three-match ODI series against the West Indies. Tears welled up in his eyes when he saw the BCCI tweet.

That is what he said, “You know, I still can not believe it. Last year was the hardest time of my life. I still shudder to think of those days. I would close the house and cry alone. Cricket was taken away from me even though I did nothing wrong.

Role of Pathan brothers

At that time family, and some close friends were by his side. But if Yusuf and Irfan Bhai had not stood by me, I would have been lost. I was able to return to the field for them. That is why there was an opportunity in the national team. What could be better than this ?”

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He also got a chance in the national team once in the 2016-17 season. But that time, the door of the first XI did not open. However, this time he is desperate to take advantage of the opportunity. Deepak added, “It has been almost five years since I was called up to the national team again.

But to be honest, I used to dream of wearing a blue jersey before the start of every domestic season. But I could not break down that door at all. But the experience of last year taught me a lot. The last 12 months have taught me to be patient. And that experience is the key to my success.”

In this conversation, Deepak repeatedly took the name of the Pathan brothers again and again. Two former Indian cricketers are like gods to Deepak! That is what he wanted to explain. Deepak said, “All the credit for my success goes to Yusuf and Irfan Bhai. Not only did they teach me how to move forward in life, but I also learned from them how to treat people.”

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How was the preparation? Deepak said, “Every morning, I would go to Motibagh Stadium or Baroda Police Ground with a kit bag. Two brothers used to be present before I went to the field. I used to bat against Irfan and Yusuf Bhai in the net and ball them for long. In this way, they have tried to light up my dark days.”

In the IPL

He also got Anil Kumble and KL Rahul by his side in his fight to come back. In IPL, Deepak has played for Punjab Kings in the last two seasons. He could not play any competitive match before the last IPL. Yet Kumble showed confidence in this young man.

In that context, Deepak added, “Anil Sir has played a big role in my career. KL Rahul also showed confidence. So I played successfully for Punjab Kings.”

After the deportation was lifted, the Baroda officials thought of bringing him back to the team. But Deepak was not willing to lose his self-esteem. He went to Rajasthan and sign-up.

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And that was the biggest turning point in his career. Rajasthan gave Deepak the captaincy of the team. After that, he showed his dominance in the Vijay Hazare trophy. Deepak responded with 294 runs in six matches with the bat. There are 109 runs against Karnataka. Not only with the bat, but Deepak is also a very accurate off-spin bowler and known to be an agile fielder.

According to him, “Going to Rajasthan is like being reborn. Even I did not realize for a minute that I was playing in another State. And that boosted my confidence.”

According to many cricket pundits, Deepak should have got a chance in the national T20 team as well. However, the boy who was once in the dark is desperate to take advantage of this opportunity.

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