Unmukt Chand set to play for Melbourne Renegades in BBL 2021-22, becomes the first Indian in the Australian league
Former India under-19 captain Unmukt Chand is all set to ply his trade for the Melbourne Renegades in the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) season. In the process, Chand has become the first Indian male cricketer to feature in the competition.
Earlier this year, Chand took the emotional decision of retiring from Indian cricket to pursue a future in the United States Minor League cricket competitions. His decision opened the floodgates for him to participate in T20 leagues across the globe, since he is no longer contracted with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
“Excited to play in BBL” – Unmukt Chand
In a quick briefing with the media, Chand looked back on the dilemmas he faced while making his decision to exit the Indian cricket circuit. At the same time, he also expressed his excitement to be able to feature for the US national team and participate in franchise leagues all around the world.
“It wasn’t easy, to be very honest, the fact that I won’t be playing for the country any more is something that is difficult to accept,” said Chand. “But I enjoying playing for the US, it’s been getting better every day. And I can now play all the leagues around the world, that’s a great opportunity for me personally.
“I’ve loved watching the Big Bash and players around the world coming in … it’s a great platform and I always wanted to play there. I’m really looking forward in the coming years that I can make a name for myself and hopefully win championships for the teams I play for”, he added.
Chand scored a match-winning century in Australia to win the 2012 under-19 World Cup
Chand, 28, has previously represented T20 franchises in the IPL like Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians, and Rajasthan Royals. He has never been to Melbourne before, but he does have some fond memories attached with Australia; none possibly more special to him than the unbeaten match-winning 111 he scored in Townsville, against Australia in the 2012 under-19 final.
“I’m really looking forward to coming to Melbourne and to get going. I’ve always enjoyed playing in Australia. I haven’t been to Melbourne before… I know there are lots of Indians in Melbourne, so it’s going to be nice, and I hope the crowds turn up for games as well,” he concluded.