Six years ago, when Unmukt Chand lifted the Under-19 World Cup, he was touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket.
“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 told TOI in Dharamshala where he was participating in the Deodhar Trophy.
“I was retained by MI last year but because I didn’t get to play matches in the previous year, I decided to get released from the squad to find a team where I could play, and not sit out, even at 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 franchisees. I wasn’t picked.”
“I had lived my biggest fear of getting dropped from the Delhi Ranji team, and thus overcame the fear by only realising the next day that it was a mental barrier and nothing else. I went beyond the fear. It liberated me.”