If cricket is a game of uncertainties, then Mumbai-born Saurabh Netravalkar is a living example of it. An ex U-19 cricketer, a software engineer in the US with Oracle and now the captain of the US cricket team, Netravalkar’s journey has been nothing short of unreal. The 27-year-old software engineer left for the US to study computer science at Cornell University in 2015. Once he shifted base to the US, he did not give up on his dream and passion of playing the sports as he made to a point to drive six hours on weekends from San Francisco to Los Angeles to play the spot.
The 27-year-old also represented India U19, where he was the highest wicket-taker in the 2010 World Cup. The six-foot-tall bowler has also represented Mumbai in the Ranji trophy.
“I gave two years full-time to cricket but felt I wasn’t making it to the next level,” he told TOI.
“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,” he said.
The US team will be traveling to Oman to play in ICC World Cricket League Division 3 and that will act as a qualifier for the 2023 ODI World Cup, a dream that Netravalkar would definitely wish to fulfill.