India’s Under-19 World Cup winning skipper Unmukt Chand has that rare maturity you wouldn’t expect from someone who is still a teenager. Far from the world of motorbike rides and dating girls, Unmukt has his eyes set on larger goals.
One teenage trouble that Unmukt did have to deal with this year was the outcome of cutting class. Poor attendance due to cricket commitments saw St Stephen’s College detain and bar him from taking his BA first year exams. The resulting hue and cry helped the talented youngster move ahead on the condition he clear the tests later.
Earlier this year, in Townsville, Australia, Unmukt proved that he has the determination to past any test. He played a captain’s knock in the Under -19 World Cup final and single-handedly enabled India to lift the trophy that day with an unbeaten hundred.
The win catapulted Unmukt into the big league. Instant fame had arrived at his doorstep. He has so far shown that he is ready to deal with all its trappings - the clamour of fans, commercial endorsements and everyone wanting a piece of his time.
It probably helps that the 19-year-old batsman is academically inclined. He maintains a journal, carries a dictionary around with him and his ambitions include writing a book. Having already made a place for himself in the Delhi Ranji and Delhi Daredevils sides, it does seem like Indian cricket’s next generation is in safe hands.