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Former U-19 World Cup-winning captain Unmukt Chand has decided to retire from his Indian cricket career. He announced on Friday that he will retire from Indian cricket to seek better opportunities around the world. Chand took to his official Twitter handle to share a long note, in which he confirmed that he is retiring from Indian cricket but is open to taking opportunities around the world.
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“After thinking for a while, I still could not find the perfect beginning to this letter. Writing this down brings out mixed emotions in me. I don’t know how I should be feeling cause honestly, I am still figuring it out. The very thought of not being able to represent my country again literally stops my heartbeat for a while,” Chand wrote on his official Twitter profile.
Unmukt, who led the junior team to a World Cup victory in 2012, had become an India A regular soon after his heroics in the final – he scored 111* in the chase to the target of 226. He also took over as India A captain and kept the top job till 2015.
Unmukt’s heroics in domestic cricket and for India A saw him making it to the 30-member squad for ICC Champions Trophy 2013. He also made it to the 30-member for the 2014 T20 World Cup but couldn’t earn an India call-up.
“I have grown up playing cricket with just one and only dream of playing for India. The love for this game has been very pure for me and I am grateful to have achieved a few milestones along the way. From getting up early in the morning for training, scheduling my entire day around cricket and trying to find out ways to become a better player has always been my drive and motivation and still keeps me going as the journey is only halfway through.
“Lastly, I would like to say that things have not been as smooth in the last few years and opportunities have been denied. Though a part of me is not at peace with the way things have unfolded in the last few years, I still choose to see the silver lining and with fond memories bid adieu to BCCI and seek better opportunities around the world,” wrote Chand.
After the Under-19 World Cup title win in 2021, Unmukt went on to captain the India A team as well, during his golden period he was also considered as one of the main batting stays of the Delhi state team but everything fell like a house of cards in the year 2016. First, he got dropped from Delhi’s one-day team, then he lost his IPL contract and the final nail in Unmukt’s coffin came in the form of him losing his place in the India A side as well.
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He switched his base to Uttarakhand in 2019 but the move didn’t work and he moved back to Delhi. Though he wasn’t included in the playing XI in any of the fixtures in the 2020/21 season.
Chand finishes his ‘Indian cricket’ career with 3379 runs in first-class cricket, 4505 runs in List A cricket and 1565 runs in T20s. Smit Patel, Unmukt’s teammate in World Cup, has already moved to the USA and is playing Minor League. He is also set to play Caribbean Premier League for Barbados Tridents.