India’s 2012 under-19 World Cup-winning captain, Unmukt Chand, is wishing to play against his country of birth in this year’s T20 World Cup.
Unmukt Chand, who played IPL for the Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, and Kolkata Knight Riders, retired from Indian cricket in 2021 and flew to the USA in order to fulfill his dream of playing international cricket. He is now very close to it.
The 30-year-old will become eligible to play international cricket for the USA, his adopted home, in March and could feature in the T20 World Cup 2024 in June, which will be co-hosted by the USA and West Indies. India and the USA are in the same group, along with Pakistan, Ireland, and Canada.
The right-hander talked about a “very strange” feeling that he will have if he gets the chance to feature against India, which he hailed as the best unit in the world, in the T20 World Cup.
Speaking with Cricbuzz, Unmukt Chand said, “[It is] something which would be very strange (laughs), but I think since I’ve retired from India, my next goal was always to sort of play against India, and not in any bad blood but keen to test myself out against the best team in the world.”
Chand smashed a memorable century in the 2012 U-19 World Cup final against Australia. He got gigs in the IPL but couldn’t grab his opportunities. Once he saw himself slip down in domestic cricket, the Delhi-born decided to switch countries to prolong his professional career.
He made an instant impact in the USA, captaining his side, Silicon Valley Strikers, to its first Minor League Cricket T20 trophy and scoring over 1500 runs across three seasons.
Retiring from Indian cricket allowed Unmukt Chand to participate in other T20 leagues in the world, such as the BBL in Australia, BPL in Bangladesh, and the MLC in the USA.
Along with Chand, two of his under-19 teammates, Harmeet Singh and Smit Patel, could also feature against India in the T20 World Cup.
Unmukt Chand is looking forward to resume his battle with Jasprit Bumrah
During his time as the India A captain, Chand was the skipper of some of the now-established Indian players like Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Suryakumar Yadav Jasprit Bumrah, and Sanju Samson.
Recalling his two centuries against Gujarat, Chand is looking forward to the battle with Bumrah.
“He got the better of me the last time I faced him in the Vijay Hazare trophy final,” he recalled.