Unmukt Chand, who led India to the U-19 World Cup victory but was unable to repeat his success at the senior level, announced his retirement from all forms of the game on Friday.
Chand, 28, revealed his decision with a series of tweets and a lengthy statement, as well as some unforgettable videos, on social media.
Chand, like his U-19 World Cup-winning teammate Smit Patel, will almost certainly play in a T20 league in the United States.
Because the BCCI does not allow its registered players to engage in overseas T20 Leagues, he had to proclaim his retirement in order to play abroad.
“Though a part of me is not at peace with the way things have transpired in the previous several years,” Chand said in the lengthy statement, “I still choose to find the silver lining and bid adieu to BCCI and seek better chances around the world.”
Chand, a right-handed batsman and off-break bowler who captained India to victory at the 2012 U-19 World Cup, quickly established himself as a household figure in India.
Chand was named the ‘Man of the Match’ in the final after his 111 not out helped India win.
“Cricket is a universal game, and while the means may alter, the end aim remains the same — to play cricket at the highest level,” stated the former U-19 captain.
He also expressed gratitude to the BCCI and said that winning the U-19 World Cup was the most important moment of his life.
“Thank you to the BCCI for providing a platform for cricketers like me to express and showcase our skills through so many camps, age group and senior board events, and the IPL,” says the player.
“In my cricketing career in India, there have been a number of glorious occasions. One of the most memorable memories of my life was winning the U-19 World Cup for India.
“It was an incredible sensation to lift the cup as captain and bring happiness to the faces of so many Indians around the world.” That feeling will stay with me forever. In addition, guiding India A on several times and winning various bi-lateral and tri-series are indelible in my mind,” Chand stated in the note.
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell wrote in one of his essays after his U-19 exploits that he should be featured in the Indian team.
Things moved at a breakneck pace for Chand, who landed a major television commercial featuring MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli.
Former India captain Rahul Dravid was amused when the Delhi-born top-order batsman published his World Cup biography.
However, there were a number of incidents in his life that did not sit well with former cricketers.
He once took a break from the India A camp to attend a private channel’s chat show seminar, prompting former World Cup-winning India captain Kapil Dev to criticise him on stage.
Sandeep Patil, Dev’s teammate and previous chairman of selectors, wanted him to go to Zimbabwe in 2015, however he missed the bus.
Chand, who played for Delhi and later captained Uttarakhand, was given opportunities for India A and Delhi, but despite a remarkable 151 against Railways on a seaming ground while still a student at Modern School, Barakhamba, he couldn’t break the red-ball code.
Chand scored 3,379 runs in 67 first-class matches, including eight hundreds and 16 fifties. He never had the breakout Ranji or IPL season, though, that may have propelled him to the next level.