Unmukt Chand becomes 1st Indian Man to Play in BBL

Cricketer Unmukt Chand has made history by becoming the first Indian man to play in Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL).

Unmukt Chand becomes 1st Indian Man to Play in BBL f

Unmukt made his debut at Melbourne's Docklands Stadium.

Unmukt Chand became the first Indian male cricketer to play in Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL).

The batsman made his debut for Melbourne Renegades against Hobart Hurricanes on January 18, 2022.

Unmukt quit Indian cricket and relocated to the United States. He was later signed by Melbourne Renegades ahead of the 2021-22 season.

His debut came a week after seemingly expressing his frustration over a lack of game time.

Unmukt tweeted: “Feels more like a vacation. Thanks Melbourne!!”

A week later, Unmukt made his debut at Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium.

He took to the field under the leadership of Australia’s limited-overs captain Aaron Finch.

Unmukt Chand is the former India A captain.

While he has never played for the senior Indian side, he has played for three IPL franchises – Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals.

His domestic career has spanned more than a decade in which has played 67 first-class matches, scoring 3,379 runs and more than 4,500 runs in 120 List A matches.

Unmukt burst onto the scene as a teenager during the 2012 Under-19 World Cup.

He was player of the match in the final, scoring an unbeaten 111 against an Australian side featuring a host of now-BBL stars, including the likes of Travis Head and Ashton Turner.

The triumph led him to the IPL, however, he could not cement his place in any of the franchises he played for.

On joining Melbourne Renegades, Unmukt previously said:

“I’m very excited, it’s great to be part of the Melbourne Renegades family.

“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.”

While Unmukt Chand is the first Indian male player in the BBL, there are several women in the BBL.

T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur and the second leading run-scorer in the inaugural edition of The Hundred, Jemimah Rodrigues were signed by Melbourne Renegades.

The ICC T20I top-ranked batter, Shafali Verma was signed by Sydney Sixers along with bowler Radha Yadav.

Opener Smriti Mandhana and her teammate all-rounder Deepti Sharma were signed by Sydney Thunder.

Wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh was signed by Hobart Hurricanes. Bowler Poonam Yadav was signed by Brisbane Heat.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”