BBL 2021-22: Unmukt Chand becomes first Indian male player to join Big Bash League, signs deal with Melbourne Renegades

Unmukt Chand has become India’s first-ever male player to join the Big Bash League. He will play for 2018/19 champions Melbourne Renegades. He has a wealth of experience playing in the IPL. The 28-year-old batter, retired from Indian cricket earlier this year to take part in USA’s Major League Cricket. Now, he is free to play in the BBL and other domestic leagues.

Unmukt Chand has played India A and captained the U-19 team in the 2012 World Cup. He had even slammed a century against Australia in the finals.

In his IPL career, he has played for Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals. He played 21 matches and scored 300 runs. Overall, he has played 77 T20s with 1500+ runs which feature three centuries.

“He brings a wealth of cricket experience,” David Saker said.

“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,” he added.

While Unmukt Chand is the first male player to take part in BBL, a number of Indian women cricketers played in Big Bash League over the years. They had also featured in the recently-concluded ‘The Hundred’.

The Big Bash League men’s tournament is all set to kick start on December 5. Melbourne Renegades will play their opening match against Adelaide Strikers on December 7.

Unmukt Chand’s decision to play in the Big Bash League could pave way for other cricketers to take part in the T20 tournament.

“I hope the BCCI can get together with the ICC or with franchises and allow players who don’t have BCCI contracts to play in overseas leagues. Yusuf (Pathan), myself, Robin Uthappa – a lot of quality players (could) … go overseas and learn a lot,” CSK’s Suresh Raina had said on social media last year.

As per BCCI rules, only retired cricketers can take part in the overseas T20 leagues. The cricket board does not allow IPL and Indian players to play foreign leagues.