Unmukt Chand will lead Uttarakhand in the Ranji Trophy this season. The 26-year-old strokeplayer secured his No Objection Certificate from his parent state, Delhi, on Saturday to begin a career that was rocked in the last couple of years.

He made his debut in 2010 against Gujarat at 17 with the cricket fraternity in the Capital raving about his talent. He made a 35 in his first match for Delhi but went on to play another 59, the last one coming in 2017 at Alur against Karnataka.

Unmukt made a huge impact in 2012 when he led India to a title-triumph in the World Cup (under-19) with a sensational innings of 111 against host Australia in the final. Former players hailed Unmukt’s performance and he was singled out as a player with a great future.

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Having hit a superb 151 against Railways in only his fourth Ranji Trophy match, Unmukt came to command a place in the Delhi team as an aggressive opening batsman. He crafted seven more first-class centuries but consistency remained a challenge as Unmukt was considered a batsman with lot of responsibility at the top.

Losing his place in the Delhi team in 2017 hurt his career. “I never expected I would be dropped. I had served Delhi to the best of my capacity. But the selectors thought otherwise,” said Unmukt, who lost a season when he was not picked by Delhi. “If only had I known (being dropped) I would have moved to another state (as a professional),” he lamented.

On his move to represent Uttarakhand, he said, “I am excited at getting an opportunity to play again. I feel sad at leaving Delhi but I have no choice. I am grateful to the Uttarakhand Cricket Association for giving me this opportunity. I hope to do well.”

In 60 first-class matches, Unmukt has aggregated 3184 runs at an average of 34.23.