He was destined to make it to the India national team after a stellar performance in the Under-19 World Cup, but life had destined something else for Saurabh Netravalkar, the cricketer from Mumbai who was recently appointed as the skipper of US cricket team.
The 27-year-old former Mumbai pacer was the leading wicketkeeper during the Under-19 World Cup in 2010. He represented Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy game against Karnataka where he claimed three wickets, but his struggle to nail down permanent spot was far from assured due to tough competition for places.
Speaking to Times of India Netravalkar said “I gave two years full-time to cricket but felt I wasn’t making it to the next level,”.
With an uncertain future, the Mumbaikar decided to quit the game to study computer science in Cornell University. While it looked like all is over for the former U-19 star, life decided to bring a little twist and brought him back to the game he loved so much.
He joined Oracle as a software engineer but did not lose touch with cricket. He would practice on weekends and go onto play 50-over matches in order to keep himself in shape.
“On Friday, 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 the selectors. I got picked this January when I became eligible for national selection,” he said.
His first assignment as a skipper is leading the side in the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 which will be taking place in Oman.