Cricketer Unmukt Chand’s decision to say goodbye to Indian cricket sent shock waves across the country’s cricketing circles. The 28-year old has many feathers in his cap. He made it to the Ranji Trophy at the age of 16, made it to the IPL at the age of 18, and most importantly, led India to a victory in the 2012 U-19 Cricket World Cup. Cricketer Unmukt Chand appeared on our special series, NewsX India A-List, for his first interview following retirement. Below are the excerpts from the interview:
We opened the interview by asking the cricketer about his reasons behind the drastic step of bidding adieu to Indian cricket, to which he opened up, “I have played cricket waking up every day with this dream of playing for the country. That’s what something which moves you. You do well or you don’t do well, but the desire to play for the country keeps you moving. So, to be very honest, it’s been a tough one, but I had to take this call because for the last 2-3 years I was not getting enough competitive cricket in India.” He continued, “I was not playing regularly and was having issues with my state associations, as well. As a cricketer, this is my prime time when I can’t be missing out on games, and, obviously, the lack of opportunities made me think of this step in the first place.”
Answering our next question, Unmukt told us how he believes things have happened much early for him in his career but that retirement will not be one of them. “Cricket is something which I can play till the time my body allows me to play it, and I’m just 28, I have got 10-12 full years of cricket left in me,” said the cricketer, telling us about his future plans.
We then asked Unmukt about the lowest phase he has dealt with in his cricketing career, to which he replied, “It was in 2017 when I got dropped from the Delhi One-Day side, and a week before that, I went unsold in IPL.” Finishing the anecdote, he stated, “In a week’s time, I did not have a Ranji Trophy team, and I did not have an IPL team, so that’s probably the biggest setback that I had never imagined could also happen.”
“I think cricket chose me,” were Unmukt’s words while recounting how he decided to be a professional cricketer. He further said, “When you don’t know anything about motivation or inspiration, it’s the passion which comes out. So, I think it was all handed down to me in a way that the passion for the game was always there and I always knew in my heart that this is what I wanna do. This is not something that was built upon over a period of time. It was something that was very natural.”
The cricketer then shared with us his experience of playing cricket in the US, “I did not expect this amount of cricket happening in the US, to be very honest, but it’s surprising that the cricket here good.” Furthermore, he said about living in the US, “ I don’t feel I’m away from my people because the US is full of Indians. So it’s like playing for the same people, for Indians staying in the US. Unmukt also believes that the sport is flouring by the day, in the US.”