The exodus from Delhi continued as leg-spinner Tejas Baroka, who was one of the star cricketers for Delhi under-23s for three successive seasons a few years ago, left to play for Puducherry in the upcoming 2023-24 first-class season.
The 27-year-old Baroka was frustrated by not getting enough opportunities and a consistent run over the past few seasons.
“I was not getting enough opportunities with the senior team. I was always under pressure and couldn’t get a long run. There was no clear conversation [with Delhi association officials] in senior cricket,” said Baroka to Patriot on Tuesday.
“This age is tricky. You are in your prime as a cricketer and as a leg-spinner I have plenty to offer. I am looking to play,” he added saying that he couldn’t have wasted another year in hope.
Baroka has played four first-class and two one-day games for Delhi, besides two T20 matches between 2017 and 2021.
He played all his first-class games in the 2019-20 season.
Prior to making his senior debut, Baroka was the highest wicket-taker for Delhi under-23s across three seasons with 85 scalps.
The 2017-18 season, when Delhi became under-23 champions, saw him return with 33 wickets in six matches, the highest in the season. He picked eight wickets (3+5) in quarter-finals vs Andhra and nine wickets (4+5) vs Tamil Nadu. For that 33-wicket haul, he was awarded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Disappointment hit him hardest when despite been part of Rajasthan Royals in 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) – although he didn’t play a game – he was not picked for Delhi’s T20 side last season.
Earlier, in IPL 2017, he had represented Gujarat Lions in one game.
“I was considering moving out last year,” he added.
Baroka will be able to play for Puducherry as a local and not as a professional since he was born there due to the two-year job stint of his father in the Union Territory town.
He is the third player to leave Delhi after batsman Dhruv Shorey, last year’s top run-getter for Delhi, moved to Vidarbha, and Nitish Rana shifted to Uttar Pradesh for the 2023-24 season.
The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has given No Objection Certificate (NOC) to all three.