Unmukt Chand joins the Melbourne Renegades of the Big Bash League (BBL), making him the first Indian male cricketer to play in the franchise T20 league in Australia. Chand, who guided India to the Under-19 World Cup championship in 2012, recently announced his retirement from Indian cricket to seek a career in the United States. He is free to play in leagues all around the world now that he is no longer under contract with the BCCI. Chand says he is excited to play in the BBL, despite the fact that leaving his nation was not an easy option.

“It wasn’t easy,” Chand said. “To be honest, the fact that I won’t be playing for the country any longer is difficult to accept. But I adore representing the United States, and it’s growing better every day. Now I can play in all of the leagues across the world, which is a fantastic opportunity for me. I’ve always admired the Big Bash and the international players who participate; it’s a fantastic stage, and I’ve always wanted to play there. I’m really hoping to build a name for myself in the coming years and hopefully win titles for the clubs I play for. I’m incredibly excited to get to Melbourne and start working, playing in Australia has always been a highlight of my career. I’ve never visited Melbourne before. I know there are a lot of Indians in Melbourne, so it should be fun, and I’m hoping for good attendance at the games.”

The 28-year-old has appeared in a few games for the Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians, and Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Renegades coach David Saker believes Chand is just what his team requires. “He brings a lot of cricket experience to the table. It’s amazing to have a player join our team who has played for three IPL clubs and captained his country at the ‘A’ and Under 19 levels. Unmukt is a powerful batter who can turn games rapidly. He’s spent most of his career at the top of the food chain, but we think he’ll be able to play a number of positions as needed, “Saker stated.