Cricket

PAK Vs USA, T20 World Cup: Who Is Saurabh Netravalkar?

Saurabh Netravalkar, a Mumbai born techie, who coded United States' victory against Pakistan. He has played for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy and was also a member of the India U19 team, sharing the field with such as KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Harshal Patel, Jaydev Unadkat, and Sandeep Sharma

T20WorldCup/X
Saurabh Netravalkar and Harmeet Singh celebrate after winning the super over against Pakistan. Photo: T20WorldCup/X
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Saurabh Netravalkar's coding against Pakistan began long before the latest USA vs Pakistan clash on Thursday. In 2010, he faced heartbreak against Pakistan in the Under-19 World Cup quarter-final. Babar Azam was in the opponent's camp that day as Pakistan narrowly defeated India by two wickets in a rain-dampened match. (More Sports News)

Fast forward to 2024, Netravalkar found the perfect revenge dress in a pivotal moment representing his new team, the USA, in a T20 World Cup match against Pakistan. Assigned the task of bowling the Super Over, he successfully defended 18 runs, leading the USA to a memorable victory and significantly enhancing their chances of advancing to the Super Eights.

Saurabh Netravalkar was born on October 16, 1991in Mumbai. He represented the Indian U19 team in the 2010 World Cup. However, despite his promising start, he faced stiff competition in the Indian cricket circuit, hindering further growth opportunities.

Nonetheless, Netravalkar's skills as a left-arm pacer, known for generating pace and bounce on any pitch, remained undiminished. This was brutally evident in his performance against Pakistan, where he showcased his prowess on Thursday.

With a bag full of cricket dreams, Saurabh arrived in the United States of America in 2015. Netravalkar, who once played the Ranji Trophy in Mumbai jersey, shared the field with Indian cricketers such as KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Harshal Patel, Jaydev Unadkat, and Sandeep Sharma.

He is not just a cricketer, he is a techie too. He has been working at Oracle for the last eight years, as per his LinkedIn profile. He joined the tech giant in in California in 2016.

But how did an engineer from Cornell University end up in the USA squad?

It all started when he received an offer for admission from Cornell University in New York in August 2015. His strong academic suit and keen interest in cricket, experience which helped him develop a player-analysis app CricDecode, had earned him a scholarship.

And then, a standout showing for the Southern California Cricket Association XI against a USA XI in a national-team warm-up match in 2017 impressed coach Pubudu Dassanayake. Soon after, he debuted for the USA team, putting up a solid performance of 2 for 45 against Leeward Islands in January 2018. It felt like everything had come together for him.

In 2019, Netravalkar became a reliable name in the squad made, quickly rising through the ranks to become the captain of the USA. He has been an opening bowler for the USA for quite some time, comfortable with both the new ball and in the latter stages of limited-overs cricket. 

Next week, Netravalkar will play against his friend Suryakumar Yadav as USA will face Indian team.

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