Meet Saurabh Netravalkar, by day an ordinary engineer who leads the tech innovation team at Oracle. But beyond his computer screen, he dons another persona as the key new-ball bowler for the USA cricket team.

Fans of Indian cricket would have heard the name before; he was India’s best bowler at the 2010 U-19 World Cup. In that tournament, India lost to Pakistan in the quarter-final. Interestingly, Babar Azam was also in that Pakistan team.

On Thursday, Saurabh gained some semblance of revenge when he bowled a decisive Super Over to lead the USA to an unprecedented victory over Pakistan.


Born in Mumbai on October 16, 1991, Saurabh Netravalkar’s love for cricket was evident from a young age. While playing for Mumbai Under-19 in the 2008-09 Cooch Behar Trophy, he notched up 30 wickets in just six games. His stellar performance earned him a spot on the India U-19 team, where he played alongside future stars like KL Rahul, Harshal Patel, and Mayank Agarwal.

The first clash against Pakistan

India’s big bout against Pakistan at the 2010 U-19 World Cup proved to be a bittersweet experience for Saurabh.

In a rain-shortened 23-over match, India could only manage 114/9. Opening the bowling alongside Sandeep Sharma, Saurabh was excellent in his five-over spell, bowling a maiden over and taking the big wicket of Ahmed Shehzad. He conceded only 16 runs in five overs, keeping India strongly in contention. His efforts were unable to stop Pakistan from sneaking home in the final over.

Saurabh’s exceptional performance during the U-19 World Cup made him the highest wicket-taker for India at the tournament.


While playing cricket is his passion and joy, a young Saurabh Netravalkar also designed an app called CricDeCode. He felt that it would help players structure their performances if they maintained a digital diary of sorts. The app instantly became a hit with 2000+ downloads and was also featured on ESPNcricinfo.

Academic Pursuits and Move to the USA

Despite cricket being his passion, Saurabh did not pause his studies. He obtained a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Mumbai in 2013, while still playing and shining in age-group cricket.

Saurabh took the tough call to move to the US for further studies as he secured a seat at the prestigious Ivy League college, Cornell University. In due time he had graduated with a 4.0 GPA and a master's degree to hang on his office wall. His knack for studies helped him gain a lot of exposure to the field of coding and computer programming, eventually landing him a spot at the well-known tech giant Oracle in July 2016. Despite this, Saurabh never lost focus on cricket.

The Positive Shift

While excelling at Oracle, Saurabh received an opportunity to reignite his cricketing career, this time for Team USA. His bowling talent quickly made him a standout player, and he soon rose to captain the national team. Known for his precise bowling and his ability to hit the seam consistently, he became a crucial member of the team.

The Moment Of His Career

When Saurabh was handed the ball to bowl the Super Over against Pakistan at the ICC World T20 2024, he knew that only 19 runs were separating him from going down in history.

With Ifthikhar Ahmed and Fakhar Zaman striding out to the middle and Shadab Khan to come, it would have been understandable for anyone to weaken their resolve. Indeed, a bowler as experienced as Mohammad Aamir lost his nerve and bowled a host of wides in the Super Over when USA batted.He started with a dot ball but conceded a boundary next. His attempt at a wide yorker was a bit too wide. The umpire raised his hands to his sides. Then came a low full toss which Ifthikar could only get as far as Milind Kumar at long off. Another wide followed, and then Shadab managed to somehow get a leg bye which went for four. With 9 needed off 2 balls, the pressure was again on Saurabh. He responded with an excellent yorker which Shadab could only muscle for 2. It came down to Pakistan needing a six to take things to a second Super Over. But it was not to be, as Saurabh bowled another excellent yorker to take USA to a sensational win.

Saurabh became the hero of the hour, by helping his team restrict Pakistan to just 13 runs. He did the impossible and became a household name overnight. We can't wait to see him in action again!