Not in a hurry to play for senior team: Unmukt
Zeenews Sports Bureau
New Delhi: After leading the Indian team to U-19 World Cup victory, Unmukt Chand now needs no introduction. The stylish right-hander scored an unbeaten ton in the final match against defending champions Australia as Indian team won the tournament for the third time.
The Indian media were flooded with words of praise for the right-hander, who in reality doesn’t like attention and simply wants to focus on playing cricket.
In a free-wheeling interview with Zeenews.com’s Swati Chaturvedi on her chat show Kahiye Janab, Unmukt said, “At the moment I am finding it very difficult with so much of media around me. My main focus is to play cricket. If you do well, endorsements will come. My manager keeps me away from endorsements. I just want to focus on playing cricket.”
Talking about his passion for cricket as a kid, the 19-year-old said, “I was 4-year-old when I started playing cricket. I was passionate for the game right from very beginning. After I shattered the window panes of my neighbbours, they asked my father to take me to some stadium after which I started playing in grounds.”
The right-hander who scored his fourth consecutive ton in the final of U-19 tournament said that he likes to play in all the three formats of the game as they all are equally important.
Like most of the budding cricketers, Tendulkar is Unmukt’s idol. “Sachin was my first cricketing hero. I always loved watching him bat. I like the way he has carried himself for the last 20 years. Apart from him, Virat Kohli who has been a very successful chaser for India, has inspired me a lot in the last two years,” he said.
The 19-year-old also said how an interaction with the Master Blaster ahead of the U-19 World Cup, helped his side to overcome pressure situations during the crucial tournament.
When asked about the manner in which the Under-19 team celebrated their victory, Unmukt said, “We enjoyed a lot. We had worked very hard for it over the last two years. Unfortunately it was Sunday and Townsville is a small town so most of the places were closed. So we went to an Indian restaurant and celebrated our triumph there.”
After returning home, the right-hander went through some tough time as he was barred from his college St Stephen’s from writing his exams due to shortage of attendance. It was only after the intervention of Sports Minister Ajay Maken and other senior authorities that he was promoted to the second year. Reacting to the entire incident, Unmukt said that he didn’t have grudges against anybody but the authorities should understand that sportspersons can’t attend most of the classes due to their other commitments.
Unmukt also has the habit of maintaining a diary which he is hopeful can turn into a book someday. “I keep writing whenever I have time. I maintain a diary where I pen down my experiences. I wrote about the current phase where there is so much of media hype. Yes I hope it can be converted into a book,” said the teenage batsman.
Unmukt who initially wanted to become an engineer has been praised by cricket stalwarts like Wasim Akram who have reckoned that the right-hander is all set to move to the next level. But Unmukt himself believes that while it is his dream to play for the country at the next level, he is not in a hurry as thinking too much about that would hamper the learning process which he is going through.