• Thursday, July 25, 2024

CRICKET

Meet Mumbai-born US player Saurabh Netravalkar who stunned Pakistan in T20 World Cup

The 32-year-old left-arm seamer had played for India in the 2010 Under-19 World Cup and is currently an employee of Oracle.

Saurabh Netravalkar (L) (Picture: Netravalkar’s LinkedIn account) and Netravalkar bowls at the nets for his team US during the T20 World Cup 2024. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE T20 World Cup 2024 witnessed one of the major upsets of the game on Thursday (6) when newcomers USA shocked former champions Pakistan in a thrilling group game. Played at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas, the co-hosts of the current edition of the tournament defeated the Asian powerhouse by five runs in the Super Over after the regulation match ended in a tie.

Batting first in the Super Over, the USA posted 19 runs and then an Indian-born bowler in the form of Saurabh Netravalkar defended those runs as Pakistan could not manage more than 13 runs.

The 32-year-old left-arm seamer has now made the headlines as his successful show in the Super Over has taken the USA close to the Super Eights by winning two out of two matches.

Read: Major upset in T20 World Cup as USA stun Pakistan

Netravalkar, who has played Under-19 cricket for India, is a software engineer who works for Oracle as a principal member of technical staff. He has been employed with the information technology giant since 2016. His LinkedIn account also calls him a “professional cricketer”. He is based in San Mateo in California.

US bowler Saurabh Netravalkar after winning the T20 World Cup game against Pakistan on June 6.
USA’s Saurabh Netravalkar (R) celebrates after the dismissal of Pakistan’s Iftikhar Ahmed in a super over during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2024 group A cricket match between the USA and Pakistan at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Grand Prairie, Texas, on June 6, 2024. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Born in India’s Mumbai in 1991, Netravalkar has a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Mumbai. He also has a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the Cornell University, USA.

He has been associated with Mumbai Cricket Association and the Board of Control for Cricket in India as a professional cricketer between 2007 and 2015. He also played the Under-19 World Cup for India in 2010.

Read: Odd delivery hitting Rohit Sharma puts New York pitch under scanner

He co-founded CricDeCode in 2013 and worked as a consulting software engineer in India for Swasth India in 2015. He is involved with the American cricket team since 2018.

Even Netravalkar’s current employer Oracle reacted to his feat after the match against Pakistan and wrote on X, “Congrats @USACricket on a historic result! Proud of the team and our very own engineering and cricket star @Saurabh_Netra.”

Netravalkar, who took a wicket in the Super Over, said after the game that it was a very humble feeling that life gave him a “second chance” to pursue what he loves doing.

“And I really feel that bliss as soon as I walk onto the field to play competitive cricket.” He was seen with his family members after the match.

The speedster also did well in the regulation game by picking two wickets for 18 runs in four overs, claiming the prized wickets of Pakistan wicket-keeper batter Rizwan Ahmed, who was superbly caught by Steven Taylor, and Iftikhar Ahmed. He dismissed Ahmed again in the Super Over.

Earlier in the day, the USA restricted Pakistan to 159 for 7 in 20 overs after winning the toss and then ended up with 159 themselves losing three wickets, thanks to some tight end bowling by the Pakistan bowlers.

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