Big Deal: Australia’s BBL Gets Its First Indian Male Cricketer

Mumbai: Unmukt Chand has made history. He is set to be the first Indian cricketer to feature in the T20 Big Bash League (BBL), the Australian version of IPL.

The former India Under-19 World Cup-winning captain will be playing for Melbourne Renegades in BBL, which gets underway on December 5.

Unmukt, once regarded as a super talent in Indian cricket, announced his retirement from Indian cricket in August. According to BCCI rules, he is eligible to play in any foreign league and currently plays in Minor League Cricket in the US.

“I’m very excited, it’s great to be part of the Melbourne Renegades family,” said Unmukt, who played 21 matches in IPL for Delhi Daredevils, Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians.

“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,” Unmukt said, adding that he always wanted to play in leagues like these.

Australia’s limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch is the captain of Melbourne Renegades, which includes international players like Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson and Kane Richardson.

Unmukt, who led India to the U-19 World Cup title in 2012 beating Australia, follows a clutch of female Indian cricketers who are plying their trade in the ongoing Women’s Big Bash League. Among them are Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma.

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