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Updated: November 30, 2013 11:21 IST

Diary of a sprightly cricketer

Vijay Lokapally
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Unmukt Chand, captain of India under-19 World Cup winning squad, at his apartment complex in New Delhi. File Photo: V.V. Krishnan
The Hindu Unmukt Chand, captain of India under-19 World Cup winning squad, at his apartment complex in New Delhi. File Photo: V.V. Krishnan

Unmukt Chand on the joy of writing The Sky Is The Limit

The Sky Is the Limit. He could not have chosen a better title. Sky is indeed the limit for this sprightly cricketer, beginning to make a mark in the big league with his batting exploits. With this diary taking the shape of a book, Unmukt Chand has set a trend of players sharing their experience, and not necessarily through the social media network. It is an exciting journey that encapsulates India’s triumph at the 2012 junior World Cup in Townsville, Australia. It vividly lives some of the finest moments on the cricket field as Unmukt, leading the side by example, scoring a century in the final against the host nation.

“A very special player,” Virat Kohli comments on the cover of the book, published by Penguin. “I really enjoyed reading the book, especially the way you describe your teammates and the coaching staff,” says VVS Laxman in his little note of encouragement and appreciation. Unmukt is thrilled. Two seniors he admires have nice things to say about his cricket and the book.

West Indies great Viv Richards has done the foreword. “I do hope that anyone who has the opportunity to read this book will find it interesting. The reader will be captivated by his achievements and this should be an insight into what more can be attained in the future,” writes Richards.

“I always wanted to write. I have loved writing since I was eight,” says Unmukt, reflecting on his early days when his father, Bharat Chand Thakur, inculcated reading and writing habit in him. At a Bishan Singh Bedi-organised camp in Dharamshala, when Unmukt was barely 11, he had to maintain a daily diary. Reading his notes, Bedi commented, “Keep it up! Your written expression will help you with your cricket learning. Make diary writing a habit.” That was in May, 2005.

Unmukt makes no claims of having any flair for writing. But he has a racy style and impactful expressions drawn from his experience of voracious reading. “I read everything, fiction, non-fiction, biographies and autobiographies,” he adds.

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Unmukt’s uncle (Sundar Chand Thakur) actually pursued the idea vigorously and the young writer began work in earnest at the World Cup preparatory camp. “Trust me, I was confident of winning the World Cup and the book kicked off on a positive note when 30 of us first met at the camp at the NCA (National Cricket Academy).” According to Unmukt, the most exciting part of writing came on the flight home after winning the junior World Cup. “I hardly got any time after the match. There was much to celebrate. I had to put my thoughts on paper. I wrote 25 pages on the flight home.” His next venture? Unmukt smiles, “I want to concentrate on my cricket, will keep writing my diary though!”

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