Renegades sign Indian batter Chand for BBL

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Experienced batter Unmukt Chand will become the first Indian male to feature in the Big Bash League after being unveiled as the Melbourne Renegades' second international signing for the upcoming season.

Unlike their female compatriots, Indian men are not usually permitted to play in other countries' domestic competitions.

But former India U19 captain Chand quit his home country in September to sign a multi-year deal with Major League Cricket in the US.

The 28-year-old - a right-hander who bats in the top order - will arrive in Australia later this month, joining English left-arm seamer Reece Topley in a Renegades squad led by long-time captain Aaron Finch.

Chand will be available for the duration of the BBL as the Renegades attempt to reclaim the title they won for the first and only time in 2019.

"I've always wanted to play in leagues like these and it's great that now I have this opportunity to be representing the Renegades in the Big Bash, so for me it's big," Chand said.

"I really look forward to contributing as much as I can on the field. I'll give it my best shot."

Chand has never been to Melbourne but has played in Australia, where he burst onto the scene as skipper of India at the U19 World Cup in 2012, scoring an unbeaten century against the hosts in the final.

He has also appeared for India A but was never capped at senior level.

Chand played for Indian Premier League clubs Delhi, Mumbai and Rajasthan in a domestic career that lasted more than a decade.

"He brings a wealth of cricket experience," Renegades coach David Saker said.

"To have a player joining our team who has represented three IPL teams and led his country at 'A' and U19 level is fantastic.

"As a batter, Unmukt is dynamic and can change games quickly.

"He has spent much of his career at the top of the order, but we believe he has the flexibility to fill a variety of roles as we need."

Across town, the Melbourne Stars have signed Afghanistan international Qais Ahmad to boost their spin stocks.

The 21-year-old spent time in the BBL with the Hobart Hurricanes and has played in limited overs competitions around the world.

A legspinner, Ahmad has plied his trade in the Caribbean Premier League, Pakistan Super League and the Lanka Premier League.

He represented the Welsh Fire in the recent The Hundred competition and in September played for Kent in England's domestic T20 Cup.

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