Former U-19 World Cup 2012 winning captain Unmukt Chand is the first Indian cricketer to play in Australia's Big Bash League after signing Melbourne Renegades for the 2021-2022 season. Chand, 28, had announced retirement from his playing career in India earlier this year. Currently, he is playing cricket for USA Team.
The club announced on Thursday that Chand the captain of India's 2012 U19 World Cup-winning team, had announced his retirement from Indian cricket in August this year that he would explore better opportunities from all around the world.
Chand, who made a name for himself in the 2012 U19 World Cup Australia, said he enjoys playing Down Under and is delighted to be a part of the Renegades.
“I’m very excited, it’s great to be part of the Melbourne Renegades family,” Chand said. “I’ve always followed the Big Bash and it’s a great opportunity for me to come and play some good cricket.
“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 for a fact 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 added.
Unmukt Chand is currently based and playing for the United States will enter the tournament high on confidence after being named player of the tournament playing for his team Silicon Valley Strikers as they won the Minor League Cricket title last month.
“I’ve always wanted to play in leagues like these and it’s great that now I have this opportunity to be representing the Renegades in the Big Bash, so for me it’s big.
“I really look forward to contributing as much as I can on the field. I’ll give it my best shot.”
Renegades coach David Saker banked on Chand's experience and wished him success in the upcoming season of the BBL.
"He brings a wealth of cricket experience," coach David Saker said of Chand.
"To have a player joining our team who has represented three IPL teams and led his country at 'A' and Under 19 level is fantastic.
"As a batter, Unmukt is dynamic and can change games quickly. He has spent much of his career at the top of the order, but we believe he has the flexibility to fill a variety of roles as we need."
He will travel to Australia later this month and will be playing for Melbourne Renegades in the tournament.