New Delhi: He knows the perils and privileges of being a successful young cricketer and Under-19 World Cup-winning captain Unmukt Chand has a message for Prithvi Shaw and Co: "The real journey for all the boys will begin after tomorrow's final."
The Indian team, led by Prithvi, is set to fight it out with Australia in the U-19 World Cup summit clash on Saturday. In 2012, Unmukt led the India Colts to World Cup triumph with a hundred in the final.
He became the toast of the nation, led India A and his career dissected threadbare with none other than Ian Chappell wanting him to be fast-tracked into senior team.
The 24-year-old remembers all that and can relate to what a Shaw, a Shubman Gill or a Kamlesh Nagarkoti may be going through right now.
"After tomorrow, they will enter the man's world. A beautiful phase of their life will end and a new journey with full of challenges await them. Prithvi's team tomorrow are favourites. They should just play freely forgetting everything else. Win or lose, it will only be significant but just a part of their bigger journey," Unmukt shared his feelings with PTI ahead of the big final.
Having experienced both sides of being a successful U-19 captain, Unmukt urged the current batch to treat success and failure as two imposters.
"The boys need to be practical. I know what happens after every U-19 World Cup. But every U-19 cricketer's story is...