Saurabh Netravalkar became the talk of the town after he helped the United States national cricket team stun Pakistan in a T20 World Cup 2024 group match to register one of the biggest upsets in cricket history.

Under the captaincy of Gujarat-born USA cricket team captain Monank Patel, fast bowler Saurabh Netravalkar was handed the responsibility to defend 18 runs in a Super Over in a Group A clash after scores were tied at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas, Texas.

USA pacer Saurabh Netravalkar later produced an impressive Super Over to guide his side to a historic win over Pakistan in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024 in the United States and the West Indies.

The 32-year-old conceded just 13 runs to power the United States to a famous win at home.

Earlier, Netravalkar recorded brilliant figures of 2/18 in his quota of four overs to help the United States restrict the Pakistan cricket team to 159/7 in their 20 overs. He bagged the huge wickets of Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan and hard-hitting batter Iftikhar Ahmed.

In reply, the USA cricket team was in a dominant position till the 17th over before Pakistan bounced back to take it to a Super Over.

Who is Saurabh Netravalkar?   

Saurabh Netravalkar was born in Mumbai on October 16, 1991. While Netravalkar was good at academics, cricket was his first love.

After working for hours at the nets, Netravalkar was finally rewarded as he grabbed the spotlight by taking 30 wickets in six Cooch Behar Trophy games in 2008-09.

The talented left-arm pacer was part of the Indian cricket team that competed in the 2010 U19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.

KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Harmeet Singh (current USA teammate), Harshal Patel and Sandeep Sharma were some of his teammates in that India squad.

Interestingly, that Indian U19 cricket team was knocked out by Babar Azam’s Pakistan in the quarter-finals by two wickets in Christchurch.

Even after finishing as India’s leading wicket-taker at the 2010 U19 Cricket World Cup, Netravalkar needed three more years to earn a place in Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy squad.

He later completed his engineering from Sardar Patel Institute of Technology in Mumbai. In 2015, the left-arm pacer moved to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree in computer science at Cornell University, New York.

After taking a scholarship from a university and settling in the US, Netravalkar designed his own cricket app.

Despite his love for the game, Netravalkar felt his cricket career was over as he did not even carry his kit to the United States.

Later, West Indian coach Lloyd Jodah saw Netravalkar bowl. He endorsed his name to different clubs, thus rekindling his love for the game.

In 2018, Netravalkar was selected in the USA national cricket team for the 2017-18 Regional Super50 tournament in the West Indies.

In a span of few months, the left-arm pacer was named in the USA cricket squad for the 2018-19 ICC World Twenty20 Americas Qualifier tournament in Morrisville, North Carolina.

Saurabh Netravalkar was later appointed the captain of the USA national cricket team for the 2018–19 Regional Super50 tournament in the West Indies and the 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament in Oman.

In February 2019, Netravalkar led the USA cricket team in a T20I series against UAE. Saurabh Netravalkar made his debut for the USA cricket team in that series on March 15, 2019.

Apart from cricket, Saurabh Netravalkar also works a regular job in California and has a love for music. He is well adept at playing the ukulele and has published videos of him playing the musical instrument in the past.

Saurabh Netravalkar at Oracle

While they say never give up on your dreams, Netravalkar managed to find the right balance between cricket and his profession as a Senior Software Engineer at Oracle, an American multinational computer technology company. 

After moving to the United States, he would often train after his day job. Saurabh Netravalkar joined Oracle as a member of technical staff in July 2016. He has now been with the company for eight years.

He was promoted to senior member of technical staff in November 2018 before becoming principal member of technical staff in February 2022 in what is his current designation at the Oracle office in Redwood City, California, according to Saurabh Netravalkar's LinkedIn profile.

Saurabh Netravalkar's teams 

  • India Under-19s
  • Mumbai
  • United States of America
  • Washington Freedom
  • Guyana Amazon Warriors
  • Gulf Giants

Apart from the United States and India’s U19 World Cup team in 2010, Saurabh Netravalkar has also represented the Mumbai cricket team in the Ranji trophy.

Despite bagging three wickets in his first-class debut against Karnataka in December 2013, Netravalkar failed to secure his place in the star-studded Mumbai side again.

Competition from the likes of Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, and a rising Dhawal Kulkarni made it difficult for him to break through and in time set him up on his journey to become a player for the United States cricket team.

At the franchise level, Saurabh Netravalkar has represented different teams across the world. While he represented Washington Freedom in Major League Cricket and was the third highest wicket-taker in the 2023 season, Netravalkar has also played for Gulf Giants and Guyana Amazon Warriors in the ILT20 and the Caribbean Premier League, respectively.

So far, Netravalkar has featured in 29 T20Is and 48 ODIs for the United States, taking more than 100 international scalps along the way. Overall, he has played 80 List-A matches, 29 T20s and one first-class game so far.

Photo credit: Alamy