India’s 2012 Under-19 World Cup-winning captain to “seek better opportunities around the world”
“I don’t know how I should be feeling cause honestly I am still figuring it out,” he wrote. “The very thought of not being able to represent my country again literally stops my heartbeat for a while.
“Personally there have been quite a few glorious moments in my cricketing journey in India. Winning the U-19 World cup for India is one of the biggest moments of my life. It was a special feeling to lift the cup as a captain and bring smiles to so many Indians across the world. I can never forget that feeling. Also, leading India A on numerous occasions and winning various bilateral and tri-series are etched in my memory forever.”
Chand played 67 first-class games, scoring 3379 runs at an average of 31.57. He fared better in List A cricket, where he scored 4505 runs at an average of 41.33 in 120 outings. In T20s, he had 1565 runs at an average of 22.35 and a strike rate of 116.09 in 77 games.
Chand shot to prominence after the 2012 final, his temperament standing out throughout the tournament as he guided India in unfamiliar conditions in Australia. He made his Ranji Trophy debut for Delhi while still in school and hit his maiden first-class century – 151, his best – in his fourth game. He then made his IPL debut at 18, and while Chand failed to impress in the IPL (for Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals), he became a regular for India A and led them to victories against New Zealand A in 2013 and Bangladesh A in 2015.
But then a dip in form meant he was no longer a certainty for Delhi either.
In 2019-20, he shifted to play for Uttarakhand as a professional but success eluded him there too. In seven first-class games that season, he made 195 runs at an average of 13.92. Chand, though, is still hopeful of playing at the highest level.
“Things have not been as smooth in the last few years and opportunities have been denied,” Chand wrote. “Though a part of me is not at peace with the way things have unfolded in the last few years, I still choose to see the silver lining and with fond memories bid adieu to BCCI and seek better opportunities around the world.
“Cricket is a universal game and even though the means might change, the end goal is still the same – to play cricket at the highest level.”
Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo