Positive Chronicles - The happy cricketer
by V Venkat and Punya Srivastava
A promising young lad, a rising star, a sensational debutant – are some of the scintillating titles given to him by the media. More to the point, he is a talented player, a skilled performer and a positive personality.
Unmukt Chand, the 20-year-old rising star of Indian cricket, appears as ordinary as the boy next door. Yet his attitude makes him stand out. This right-hand batsman made headlines when he scored 151 against Railways in the Ranji Trophy as a 17-year-old. A cricketer with a calm temperament, he is a big match player and has a knack for coming up with big scores in crucial situations. He was the hero of the Under 19 Cricket World Cup, bringing home the coveted title under his captainship in the year 2012. Since then, he has seen many phases in his life, just like any other professional player. Yet, this young boy has shown extreme maturity in his performances, garnering praise from the likes of Ian Chappel.
Hailing from the region of the mighty Himalayas, this Uttarakhand boy started his career playing for Delhi. A consistent performer, he has shone like a star time and again in domestic cricket. “There is always more time than you think,” he says when asked about his strategy in a crisis. A comment that is a testimony to his poise and inner control. “My coach, R Sridhar, during my Under-19 days, used to motivate me by saying that games are always won at the mind level. It is always about how you prepare yourself physically and more than that, mentally. I am convinced that success rests on two factors. Talent accounts for 10 per cent, but the rest is dependent on performance. Success comes when one learns the ability to turn talent into performance, consistently,” he adds.
A disciplinarian to the core, Unmukt places great significance in the power of mind and positive thoughts. “A positive way of life brings forth lots of positive decisions. It helps in having a clearer focus on my game. I believe in keeping positive company, as your surroundings affect your thoughts the most. I also believe in the ‘Law of Attraction’. I read about it in The Secret and apply it in my life too. If you have a positive attitude, you attract positive people and positive situations in your life,” he shares.
Ask him about how he practises positivity in his life, and he says. “I believe in the power of meditation. I start my day with 15 minutes of meditation before commencing my daily workout and practice session. It also helps that my parents are deeply spiritual people and we have a very positive atmosphere at home. I believe in God and have faith in his powers,” he divulges. It is probably this faith that enables him to come through a spate of low-scoring games. Talking about the rough patches in his career, Unmukt describes cricket as a game of mental challenges. “It’s all about how you cope with external factors, which is why the mindset becomes very important.
|"Success comes when one learns the ability to turn talent into performance, consistently."|
Ask him about the most positive person in Indian cricket and he comes up with two names – Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. “I relate to guys like Shikhar and Virat as they’re like close friends and they’ve always helped me out. When you interact with them regularly, watch them practice, you want to inculcate their positive habits. Hopefully I’ve done that,” he says.
Apart from cricket, it is writing that he is passionate about. Since his school days, he has kept a journal. “It is a great way to rejuvenate. And because I have been writing for so many years now, it works as a cathartic therapy. I have captured most of my childhood in my diary such as significant instances, and things I learnt from different people.”
He is planning to publish a book on his World Cup journey experiences by the end of this year. “We started preparing for the Under-19 World Cup a good 18 months before we went to Australia. I’ve written down some anecdotes from my childhood, how I started playing, and the struggles and sacrifices made by my parents and family. I’ve incorporated a lot of it from my personal diary, which I maintain while on tour as well,” he adds.
He signs off with a message to youth who, just like him, seek to break into the game, “I only want to stress upon one thing – education is a must. It not only gives you confidence to face the world but also makes you a good human being. Look at players like Rahul Dravid. He epitomises the proverbial gentleman – a great player and a great human being. So, give due importance to education even if you are into sports or some other vocation. Also, be positive in your attitude and your actions. They’ll take you much further than your skill and talent.”
Probably, these are the very things which have helped him bounce back after a forgettable stint in the recently concluded IPL and ACCE 2013 Under-23 series. He scored a scintillating century in the recently held Challenger Trophy and helped Delhi move into the finals. Thank goodness, there is at least one Unmukt Chand in the times of fallen heroes.
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