Major League Cricket: As breaking into the Indian set-up becomes harder for many cricketers, playing franchise cricket has become an option. However, with the BCCI banning Indian cricketers from taking part in franchise cricket overseas without retiring, many are left without an option to play in such leagues. Former U-19 captain and Delhi batsman Unmukt Chand, according to Pakistani cricketer Sami Aslam, is also looking to play franchise cricket, beginning a new chapter in his career in the US in Major League Cricket (MLC). However, after Aslam’s comments, Chand denied any involvement.
In a recent interview, Sami Aslam said that hundreds of Pakistani cricketers apart from Unmukt Chand were looking to move to the US to play in Major League Cricket, a franchise T20 league. However, Unmukt Chand denied any association, saying he had rather went to visit his relatives and went for practice, not to be involved with Major League Cricket.
“I had gone to the USA to visit my relatives, and of course when there, I went for a bat or two — just to practise. I had gone to the training session just because I had come here, but I have done nothing like signing anything in the USA. This trip is nothing but a leisure tour,” he told Indian Express.
Major League Cricket: While Unmukt Chand denied any association with MLC, many Indian cricketers and IPL franchise owners are looking to associated with the tournament. However, with BCCI’s strict restrictions in playing overseas T20 leagues for both contracted and non-contracted players, many cricketers have been reluctant. Players like Yuvraj Singh had to retire from international and domestic cricket in order to play in the Canada T20 League. Harbhajan Singh also had to withdraw from England’s The Hundred’s draft as he is still actively playing in the IPL.
However, talks about Unmukt Chand, settling in the US surfaced after Sami Aslam said in an interview that 30-40 foreign players including India’s Unmukt Chand, Smit Patel and Harmeet Singh were looking to play in the Major League Cricket.
“30 or 40 foreign players have arrived in America recently. A few former Under-19 Indian players have also arrived, including Unmukt Chand, Smit Patel and Harmeet Singh,” Sami Aslam told Pakistani media in an interview. He moved to the US at the age of 25 after failing to break into the Pakistan national team.
Apart from Sami Aslam, renowned cricketers like Corey Anderson are playing in the MLC. As for Indians, they are yet to be officially associated but IPL franchise owners like Shahrukh Khan reportedly invested in the tournament.
For now, however, Unmukt Chand wants to fight it in India having failed to impress in both domestic cricket and IPL. Considered one of the most talented cricketers after Virat Kohli, the Delhi batsman has found himself out of favours with a string of below-par performances. He last played in the Ranji Trophy for Uttarakhand but failed to make any mark.