Meet USA’s Saurabh Netravalkar, Who Played For India In 2010 Under-19 World Cup

The USA’s left-arm seamer Saurabh Netravalkar has become one of the most talked about cricketers in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

Saurabh became an overnight sensation after his heroics in the PAK vs USA’s Super-Over round. He continued with his brilliant run in the marquee tournament with another stellar performance, which came against the Indian cricket team.

There was a time when Saurabh wanted to represent the country and don the Indian jersey. However, in 2015, Saurabh Netravalkar packed all his dreams in his bags and moved to the USA to become a software engineer.

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Cricket was over for me. I had no hope or expectation left to play again,” he had revealed in an interview.

Now after almost a decade, Saurabh stole the show with his amazing performance against the Indian cricket team in Match No. 25 of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024.

Saurabh Netravalkar must be riding high on confidence right now as he scalped the wickets of two of the biggest superstars of Indian cricket – Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

Saurabh also became the first bowler to dismiss Virat Kohli for a golden duck in ICC events.

Journey From India to the USA:

The way Saurabh Netravalkar kept his dreams alive is no less than an inspiration. His story is all about persistence, hard work, his love for cricket, also, his software engineering career.

Saurabh Netravalkar, who was born and brought up in Mumbai, began playing cricket when he was just 10 years old.

After some outstanding performances as a teenager, Saurabh was selected for the 2010 under-19 World Cup in New Zealand.

Meet USA's Saurabh Netravalkar, Who Played For India In 2010 Under-19 World Cup

Saurabh emerged as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament for the Indian team.

Over the next few years, Netravalkar balanced his dreams of playing cricket for his country while studying to become a software engineer. He graduated in the year 2013.

During his time as an engineering student in India, Saurabh came into the limelight for CricDeCode, an application that would help cricketers analyze their performances. The app was built by Saurabh Netravalkar.

In fact, in 2014, Indian batter Surya Kumar Yadav tweeted about the app of Saurabh. The screenshot of the same is now going viral.

After his graduation, Saurabh shifted all his focus to cricket, dedicating two years of his life to the sport that he loved the most. During this period, Saurabh Netravalkar tried to get a place in the Indian national team as well as the Mumbai cricket team. He revealed:

I got into the [Mumbai] squad too. But I couldn’t cement my place or even get into the Indian Premier League (IPL).”

While many start their career at the age of 23, Netravalkar decided to leave the sport at that age.

I was in two minds. Should I pursue cricket or concentrate on studies?” he said.

In 2015, Saurabh started studying at Cornell University in the US for a degree in computer science. “It was a difficult decision,” he says.

But Saurabh was still holding onto his dreams of playing cricket.

During his graduation period, he also joined a club to participate in inter-college tournaments at Cornell.

After his graduation in the USA, Netravalkar got a job with software giant Oracle and moved to California.

Netravalkar started playing club cricket in San Francisco. He used to work for five days and play on Saturday and Sunday. While it was nothing like professional cricket, he was still getting a chance to continue playing cricket.

While the tournament games provided a great platform for Netravalkar to continue playing the sport that he loved the most, he still wasn’t thinking of playing for the USA’s national cricket team.

Saurabh Netravalkar’s Rise In International Cricket

The International Cricket Council (ICC) also had a rule that required Saurabh to have lived in the US for seven years and be a permanent resident. However, the rules changed in 2018 and Netravalkar was picked for the USA cricket team. And since then, there have been no turning backs for the star cricketer.

On Wednesday, Saurabh Netravalkar faced his old teammates from India and he got the better of Rohit and Virat. While the USA couldn’t win the game, Saurabh managed to gain all the limelight with his sensational performance.

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