US chases more cricket glory at Eisenhower Park

US chases more cricket glory at Eisenhower Park

United States' Saurabh Nethralvakar celebrates after their win in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match against Pakistan at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Grand Prairie, Texas, Thursday, June 6, 2024. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

WESTBURY, N.Y. (AP) — At age 18, Saurabh Netravalkar’s ambition was to play at the highest level for India. That never happened but at 32 he’s got a chance to bowl against his country of birth at the Twenty20 World Cup.

The left-arm United States pacer will be watched nervously by a billion cricket fans back home in India when the teams meet Wednesday at Long Island’s Nassau County International Stadium.

Indian broadcaster Star Sports is already promoting the game as a clash between Mumbai-born Netravalkar and another U.S. player of Indian heritage, Alabama-born Nosthush Kenjige, and India superstar batters Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

Tournament favorite India won’t be over-confident, having seen the U.S. pull off a major shock in world cricket when it beat Pakistan on Thursday.

Netravalkar did play at a junior level for India. He was among 15 players who represented India at the Under-19 World Cup in 2009-10 with Lokesh Rahul the most prominent name from that squad. Mayank Agarwal, Harshal Patel, Jaydev Unadkat and Mandeep Singh also went on to make international appearances and all five received Indian Premier League contracts.