Former Indian Bowler to Lead American Cricket Team in World Cup Qualifiers

Saurabh Netravalkar, a left-arm seamer was India’s leading wicket taker in the 2010 Under-19 World Cup.


A former Indian Under-19 bowler is all set to captain the American cricket team in the ICC World Cricket League Division League next week.

Saurabh Netravalkar, who was appointed as the captain of the U.S. Cricket team, was India’s leading wicket taker in the 2010 Under-19 World Cup.

According to a report in Financial Express, he was part of the team that included now household names like KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Sandeep Sharma, and Jaydev Unadkat. His scalps in the tournament included now England’s Test captain Joe Root. The ICC World Cricket League Division 3 will serve as the qualifier for the 2023 ODI World Cup and will be played in Oman from Nov. 9-19, the paper said.

After realizing that it would be difficult for him to make it as a cricketer in the big league, the 27-year-old former left arm pacer left for the U.S. to study computer science in Cornell University. Netravalkar is an engineering graduate from Mumbai’s Sardar Patel Institute of Technology.

“I gave two years full-time to cricket but felt I wasn’t making it to the next level,” he told the Times of India.

Netravalkar started playing cricket again while at Cornell and was picked to play for the national side after he became eligible in January this year. He works as a software engineer with Oracle and continues to play cricket.

Speaking to the Times of India, Netravalkar said the U.S. cricket team is a mix of players mostly from the West Indies, India, and Pakistan. The team is being coached by former Sri Lankan wicket-keeper Pubudu Dassanyake.

“It is an honor to be part of the national team. We went to West Indies this year to play in their first-class circuit to which they have added the U.S. and Canada as foreign teams. I performed well and was picked to play Caribbean Premier League for Guyana Amazon Warriors. I didn’t get a game though,” he was quoted as saying.

Netravalkar will not be the only Indian player to play for the U.S. national said. Nisarg Patel will be another Indian-origin player in the team.

“On Fridays, I used to leave a little early from office with a fellow player and drive to LA. We would play a 50-over game in LA on Saturday. Then we would drive back in the night and play a 50-over game in San Francisco on Sunday. It was back to work on Monday. I put in a lot of effort which was noticed by selectors. I got picked this January when I became eligible for national selection,” the Hindustan Times quoted him as saying.

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