Unmukt Chand has signed a historic deal with Big Bash League club Melbourne Renegades for the upcoming season. He is now the first-ever male Indian player to join a BBL franchise. Unmukt will be playing for Melbourne Renegades in Australia's premier T20 tournament which kicks off on December 5.Since Unmukt has now retired from Indian cricket, he is now eligible to play any foreign league. As per the rules, those who are still part of BCCI's system cannot play foreign leagues. Unmukt announced his retirement from Indian cricket in August and recently led Silicon Valley to a title win in the Minor League Cricket.
“I’m very excited, it’s great to be part of the Melbourne Renegades family,” Unmukt told Melbourne Renegades. “I’ve always followed the Big Bash and it’s a great opportunity for me to come and play some good cricket. I’m really looking forward to coming to Melbourne and to get going. I’ve always enjoyed playing in Australia. I haven’t been to Melbourne before… I know for a fact there are lots of Indians in Melbourne, so it’s going to be nice, and I hope the crowds turn up for games as well. “I’ve always wanted to play in leagues like these and it’s great that now I have this opportunity to be representing the Renegades in the Big Bash, so for me it’s big. I really look forward to contributing as much as I can on the field. I’ll give it my best shot," he added.
The 28-year-old, who led India to the Under-19 World Cup title in 2012, has represented India A, apart from featuring in teams like Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. "He brings a wealth of cricket experience. 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. 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," David Saker, the Renegades coach, said of Chand's inclusion. At Renegades, he will be playing under the captaincy of his Aaron Finch. Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson and Kane Richardson are among international players in the Renegades' camp.