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Who is Saurabh Netravalkar? All you need to know about former India U19 star in USA squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2024

Published at :June 7, 2024 at 3:43 PM
Modified at :June 7, 2024 at 6:34 PM
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(Courtesy : ICC)

Jatin Khandelwal


Under huge pressure, Saurabh Netravalkar bowled match-winning Super Over against Pakistan in their ICC T20 World Cup 2024 encounter.

Saurabh Netravalkar produced a calm Super Over against Pakistan as the United States of America (USA) recorded one of the biggest upsets in the history of the ICC T20 World Cup.

In match number 11 of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, the left-arm pacer conceded only 13 runs in the Super Over while defending 18 runs against the likes of Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan to boost USA’s chances of reaching the Super 8 round.

If USA do reach the Super 8 stage, then Saurabh Netravalkar will have to extend his leave at his office, which he has set till June 17, two days after USA’s last Group A match.

Yes, you read it right: Netravalkar is an office employee and playing cricket for the USA is his side job. He is a software engineer, who works at Oracle in San Francisco.

The 32-year-old Saurabh Netravalkar had undertaken a long journey from India to the USA as he dabbled between cricket and engineering.

Saurabh Netravalkar played alongside KL Rahul in the 2010 Under-19 World Cup

Not many would know that Netravalkar was part of India’s Under-19 World Cup team in 2010 and played alongside KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Jaydev Unadkat and Harshal Patel.

He was India’s highest wicket-taker in that tournament. Despite that, he couldn’t get many chances in Mumbai’s domestic team due to the presence of Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Aavishkar Salvi and Dhawal Kulkarni. Netravalkar also didn’t attract any bids at the Indian Premier League auction.

He made his Ranji Trophy debut in 2013 and had given up a software engineering job in Pune to play cricket full-time in India. But he got to play only one First-Class game.

After warming Mumbai’s bench for the majority of the next two years, he returned to academics as he received an offer for admission from Cornell University, New York. He also developed a player-analysis app CricDecode. After graduating, he got a job at Oracle.

But Netravalkar couldn’t keep himself away from cricket and started looking for opportunities on weekends. In 2016, he got an opportunity for the North West Region at the USACA National Championship.

Soon after he became eligible to play for USA, he turned up for Southern California Cricket Association XI against USA XI in a warm-up game where he impressed then-coach Pubudu Dassanayake. A year later, he made his List A debut for USA and that kicked off his international career.

He had already been a renowned name among Indians who follow cricket passionately. Now, though, even casual watchers will remember the name Saurabh Netravalkar as the bowler who delivered a brilliant Super Over against one of the top cricket nations in the world.

Interestingly, in the 2010 U-19 World Cup, India and Netravalkar had suffered a defeat against Pakistan in the quarter-final, and Babar Azam was part of that game.

It is certain that he will be applauded when he returns to his office.

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