It’s taken more than 10 years, but a Big Bash League club has finally signed an Indian player who will take the field in BBL|11 this summer.
Unmukt Chand has signed with the Melbourne Renegades for BBL|11, becoming the first Indian men’s player in Big Bash League history.
A top-order batter, Chand captained the Indian U19 side early in his career and has represented three IPL franchises – Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals.
Chand is based in the US, where he recently won the Minor League Cricket title with the Silicon Valley Strikers but is due to arrive in Australia later this month and will be available for the entirety of BBL|11.
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Chand joins English quick Reece Topley as one of two international signings on the Renegades’ books for this summer, meaning the franchise has room for one more player from abroad.
“I’m very excited, it’s great to be part of the Melbourne Renegades family,” Chand said.
“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.”
Melbourne Renegades general manager James Rosengarten said the side’s list was close to finalised ahead of the tournament, which begins on December 5.
“It’s great to have Unmukt on board and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do as a Renegade. He makes history as the first Indian player in the BBL, which is exciting for our club, our fans and the competition,” he said.
“We believe we’re assembling a well-rounded group, with a nice mix of experience and exciting, young talent. Our list is close to finalised, but we look forward to sharing some more exciting news with our fans in the run to the season.”