Unmukt Chand, the former Indian U-19 World Cup winning skipper, became the first Indian cricketer to take part in the Bangladesh Premier League.
The middle-order batter who earlier plied his trade for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League was picked by the Chattogram Challengers in the players’ draft for the 2023 edition, which took place on November 23rd (Wednesday).
Chand registered his name for the BPL draft about a week ago and expressed his excitement to take part in what he considers one of the biggest T20 leagues in the world.
In August 2021, Chand announced his retirement from playing cricket in India and flew to the USA to get more opportunities. He will be eligible to play for the USA ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup.
Chand has prior experience of playing in Bangladesh, having already been part of the Dhaka Premier League in three editions. He also shares a good camaraderie with some of the Bangladesh players and cannot wait to make his debut in the BPL. He stated:
“I have played in Dhaka before and I enjoyed it thoroughly. After coming to the USA, I have a chance to play any league around the world. Last year I played in the Big Bash League.
"Now, I am eager to play in the Bangladesh Premier League and have registered for the draft. I want to play well no matter which team I play for."
Unmukt Chand added,
“I have an idea about playing conditions in Bangladesh. I am always amazed by the BPL and it’s one of the biggest leagues in the world. A number of big players have taken part in the tournament in the past. There’s no doubt that it’s one of the top tournaments on the globe.
“I am happy about the fact that I have supporters in Bangladesh. I will be very happy if I get a chance to take part in the BPL. I have played in three editions of the Dhaka Premier League for Prime Bank, Sheikh Jamal and another club. I am good friends with Nurul Hasan Sohan, Afif Hossain, Rubel Hossain and many others,”
Unmukt Chand couldn't quite fulfil his dreams of playing for India
Touted as one of the finest young players growing up on the Indian circuit, Unmukt Chand captained India to the U-19 World Cup triumph in 2012. He was signed up by the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL but couldn’t quite make an impact in any of the editions he played.
Chand eventually decided to leave the country and pursue his cricketing career in the USA.
While he was part of the Indian set-up, Unmukt Chand was unable to take part in any of the overseas T20 leagues due to strict restrictions and protocols by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
However, since leaving India, he has left no stone unturned in exploring his cricketing career in different parts of the world.