Unmukt Chand has signed on to play the upcoming Big Bash League season for the Melbourne Renegades. The 28-year-old becomes the first Indian to play in the tournament, though a number of Indian women have been part of the Women's Big Bash League over the years.
"I've loved watching the Big Bash and players around the world coming in," Chand said. "It's a great platform and I always wanted to play there. I'm really looking forward in the coming years that I can make a name for myself and hopefully win championships for the teams I play for."
A top-order batter, Chand hit a match-winning century in the final of the Under-19 World Cup in 2012 against Australia, and was fast-tracked within a year to India A captaincy. At the same time, he was also contracted to the Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals) in the IPL. However, a massive dip in form that led to dwindling returns didn't help nail down a permanent position, both at the IPL and with his state team, Delhi.
In 2019, Chand moved to Uttarakhand in search of stability, but left within a year after indifferent performances led to his ouster. He eventually stepped away from Indian cricket earlier this year and moved to the United States of America to search for opportunities.
He began his Minor League career in America by leading his team Silicon Valley to the title. In all, he has played 77 T20s since making his debut in 2010 and has an average of 22.35 and a strike rate of 116.09.
"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," Renegades coach David Saker said. "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."