File image of Ambati Rayudu© Twitter
Right-handed batter Ambati Rayudu who last played a first-class game in 2017, will be playing for Baroda now as he has been roped in by Baroda Cricket Association for the upcoming domestic season. The association is also trying to bring Deepak Hooda back, who had left Baroda after a fall-out with the then skipper Krunal Pandya. After leaving Baroda, Deepak Hooda had enjoyed a good season with Rajasthan.
Baroda Cricket Association’s chief executive Shishir Hattangadi confirmed that Rayudu would indeed be playing for Baroda and how the efforts are going on to bring Deepak Hooda back.
“Yes, Ambati Rayudu will be joining us from the upcoming season. As far as Deepak Hooda is concerned, there are efforts going on to contact him but we do not know anything for sure as of now,” Hattangadi told NDTV.
When asked about the equation between Deepak Hooda and Krunal Pandya, Hattangadi said: “They are playing for the same IPL franchise (Lucknow Super Giants), so where is the problem.”
Hattangadi also confirmed that former India all-rounder Yusuf Pathan will be a mentor for Baroda and how it will help the youngsters.
“It is nice to have someone who has gone up the ladder, coming from a smaller state. He (Yusuf) will be able to tell them about the issues that need to be addressed in terms of temperament, you know being able to fit into the scheme of things on a pan-India scale,” said Hattangadi.
When asked whether Baroda will become a stronger unit with the inclusion of Rayudu, Hattangadi said: “I do not know about the strength bit because that depends on form, and it can be good or bad as it is fickle. Sharing experiences and work ethic, and sharing what it takes to do well at the next stage is always important when somebody has done it. That is why guys like Ambati and Yusuf will be able to provide inputs to the youngsters in a smaller state.”
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