Unmukt Chand, who led India to the 2012 Under-19 World Cup triumph in Australia, announced his retirement from Indian cricket via a Twitter note on Friday. He has signed a three-year deal with USA's Major League Cricket (MLC), where he will join his U19 teammates - Smit Patel and Harmeet Singh.
Unmukt Chand has announced his India retirement after a decade-long domestic career. In a note posted on his Twitter account, Chand stated that he has decided to "bid adieu to the BCCI and seek better opportunities around the world".
The Delhi-born-cricketer had first shot to prominence with his heroics in the 2012 U19 World Cup final against Australia, his unbeaten 111 guiding India to a six-wicket win. He was looked upon as one of India’s promising batting prospects then, but regular failures thereafter meant that he could never earn an India call-up.
He has now signed a three-year deal with USA's Major League Cricket (MLC), where he will join his U19 World Cup-winning teammates - wicketkeeper batsman Smit Patel and left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh.
Chand reminisced the historic triumph Down Under, calling it a major highlight of his career while stating that the thought of not being able to represent India again was a tough one to digest.
"Personally, there have been quite a few glorious moments in my cricketing journey in India,” he wrote. “Winning the U-19 World cup for India is one of the biggest moments of my life. It was a special feeling to lift the cup as a captain and bring smiles to so many Indians across the world. I can never forget that feeling.
"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.”
In 67 first-class games, he scored 3379 runs at 31.57, while 120 List A cricket outings yielded 4505 runs at 41.33. He aggregated 1565 runs at an average of 22.35 and a strike rate of 116.09 from 77 T20 matches. 21 of those came at the IPL across six seasons, in which he managed 300 runs at run-a-ball, his lone half-century coming for the Mumbai Indians against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2015. His last domestic appearance came for Uttarakhand against Haryana during the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy.
He expressed his disappointment over the lack of opportunities in recent years and now looks forward to playing the game at the highest level.
"Things have not been as smooth in the last few years and opportunities have been denied," he wrote. "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.
"Cricket is a universal game and even though the means might change, the end goal is still the same - to play cricket at the highest level."