New Delhi: It is often understood that winning the ICC U-19 World Cup is a short-cut to earn the national cap. And at times it is said that the captain of the U-19 World Cup winning squad is a definite key to break into the senior squad. Likes of Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli who won the trophy as a captain in the past made their place in the Indian team along with some of their peers. However, nothing is definite and Unmukt Chand is the prime example of that. The Delhi boy was captain of the 2012 U-19 World Cup winning squad and he still is working hard to earn that elusive India cap.
Talking to Times of India in Dharamshala where the batsman was participating in Deodhar Trophy, he spoke about why he hasn’t been able to land a contract with an IPL franchisee. He said, getting axed from the Delhi team in 2016-17 season despite being a performer affected his career prospects including IPL. “Getting dropped from Delhi was the biggest disappointment of my life. I became the scapegoat of petty politics in the team. I was playing a T20 zonal match in Mumbai two years back when I heard the news of getting axed from the One-day side. I was leading India A in a couple of months before that and was the highest scorer there. I had been the top run-getter for Delhi the previous season, and I was dropped. That was shocking,” the 24-year-old said.
Him being left out of the Delhi squad happened just before the IPL auction and saw him fail to land a contract with any team. “I was retained by MI (2016) but because I didn’t get to play matches in the previous year (2015) I decided to get released from the squad to find a team where I could play, and not sit out, even at the base price. Playing is more important than money. It was a hard decision and a big risk too, but I opted out. Unfortunately, I was dropped from the Delhi side four days before the auction, and I’m sure it didn’t send the right signal to the franchises. I wasn’t picked,” he added.
This year again he remained unsold in the IPL mega auctions.
Chand has played in two matches in the domestic T20 tournament for Delhi, one of them being a final, where he scored a half-century. With uncertainty looming large over his place in the current Delhi squad, playing for another state has popped up in his mind as an option.
“Yes, I have thought about it. I have been forced to think about it. However, things are still not concrete,” he reveals. For now, Chand is focused on a ‘mission comeback’ after scoring 400 runs in his last eight games for Delhi across formats.