IPL 2021: Another IPL player joins Major Cricket League in US, KKR’s ex-player Manan Sharma retires to join Unmkut Chand in USA league – Former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder Manan Sharma is the latest cricketer to jump the US Major League Cricket bandwagon, joining Smit Patel and Unmukt Chand. The 30-year-old Delhi all-rounder has announced his retirement from domestic cricket in India to move to California.
Manan Sharma has rubbed shoulder with the likes of Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant amongst others during his First-Class career with Delhi. Manan Sharma rose to the limelight following his stint in India’s U-19 World Cup campaign in 2010. Two years later, he made his debut for Delhi and soon became Delhi’s ace spinner with his best performance coming in 2014-15 Ranji Trophy season, bagging 35 wickets in eight matches.
IPL 2021: That earned him a contract with IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders in 2016. However, he didn’t get a match under his belt and was released the following year. He has since struggled with his form.
IPL 2021: In 35 First-Class matches since making his debut in 2012, Manan Sharma has taken 113 wickets while scoring 1,208 runs including a century and eight half-centuries. While he has remained in Delhi domestic cricket plans, his opportunities have been limited. The last time he played for Delhi was in 2019 in Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The situation has been further worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic with no Ranji Trophy taking place in 2020. With no IPL contract and limited domestic opportunities, he called his time on his career in India. Under current BCCI rules, no Indian male cricketer is allowed to play in franchise leagues abroad to protect IPL’s brand.
IPL 2021: With his move to US, Manan Sharma becomes 3rd Indian U-19 star and IPL player to call it quits after Unmukt Chand and Smit Patel. Unmukt Chand, India’s U-19 World Cup-winning captain joined Major League Cricket in the US earlier this month.
“I’m delighted to take the next step in my cricket career by being part of the long-term growth of American cricket and the launch of Major League Cricket. I’m excited to have the opportunity to play for the Strikers in Minor League Cricket starting this weekend and help grow the sport locally in the Bay Area, where I have already seen the impressive passion for the game of cricket,” Unmukt Chand told MLC website.