The cricket sensation from the US who previously represented India on the field.

In 2015, Saurabh Netravalkar abandoned his aspirations of pursuing professional cricket in India, relocating to the US to work as a software engineer.

“Cricket seemed like a closed chapter for me,” he remarks. Nearly a decade later, he finds himself gearing up to confront the Indian cricket team in a T20 World Cup clash at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York, albeit as a member of the US team.

Reflecting on his journey, Netravalkar acknowledges the emotional weight of the moment, reminiscing about his past stint with India’s Under-19 squad. Despite the prospect of competing against former teammates, his unwavering confidence, evident in his stellar performance during a recent super over victory against Pakistan, underscores his relentless pursuit of cricketing excellence intertwined with the American dream. Originating from Mumbai, Netravalkar’s cricketing journey commenced at age 10, culminating in his standout performance as India’s leading wicket-taker in the 2010 Under-19 World Cup.

Following a dual pursuit of cricket and engineering, he eventually prioritized academics, only to reignite his passion for cricket while studying at Cornell University in the US. Post-graduation, Netravalkar embraced a career in software engineering, while actively participating in club cricket in San Francisco, despite the absence of professional infrastructure.

The transition from student to professional visa status paved the way for his inclusion in the US cricket team, coinciding with the ICC’s extension of international T20 status to associate members. Despite challenges posed by limited resources and logistical constraints, Netravalkar remains optimistic about US cricket’s trajectory, buoyed by recent victories against formidable opponents.

As he braces for the upcoming showdown against his former compatriots, Netravalkar maintains a resolute belief in his team’s ability to defy the odds and make their mark on cricket’s global stage.

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