5 former India U-19 cricketers who have now moved to the USA

The U-19 stage is the first platform for any budding cricketer to showcase his talent at the global level. The International Cricket Council (ICC) organizes an U-19 World Cup once in every two years. Countries from all over the world participate in that competition. This tournament not only helps the young cricketers get some much-needed exposure, but it also gives the cricket boards an idea about the next generation of stars. Quite a few India U-19 cricketers have went on to play for India.

Virat Kohli captains the Indian cricket team right now. In 2008, he was the skipper of the India U-19 team. Similarly, Rohit Sharma was a top batsman in the 2006 U-19 World Cup. Now, he is the top batsman of India at the senior level. However, not all India U-19 cricketers could achieve similar success. Some of them have now moved to the United States of America. Here’s a list of five such players.

1. One of the India U-19 cricketers to have won U-19 World Cup: Unmukt Chand

Unmukt Chand is a former captain of the India U-19 cricket team. Under his leadership, the India U-19s won the U-19 World Cup in the year 2012. Chand led his team from the front, scoring a century that helped the Boys in Blue defeat Australia U-19s in the final and win the troPphy.

After winning the U-19 World Cup, Chand played for the Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. He performed decently in a few matches. However, he could never play for the senior Indian cricket team. At the age of 28, he announced his retirement from Indian cricket. Now, Chand is all set to play in the USA.

2. Sunny Sohal

Former Punjab batsman Sunny Sohal is the second player on this list. Like Unmukt Chand, Sohal is a top-order batsman, who bats right-handed. In the IPL, Sohal once played for the Deccan Chargers and scored a half-century against the Chennai Super Kings. While he played some good knocks for DC, Sohal also represented the Punjab Kings and the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Unfortunately, Sohal could never break into the Indian cricket team. He has moved to the United States of America since long. In fact, he has even represented the USA cricket team in three T20I matches.

3. Timil Patel

There was a time when Timil Patel played for the India U-19s with the likes of Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan. While Raina and Pathan have retired from international cricket now, Patel is active in the USA. Like Sunny Sohal, Timil has already represented the United States of America team at the international level.

In his brief international career, the 37-year-old has played seven ODIs and seven T20I matches for the American team. He has scored one fifty in the ODI format, while he has taken a lot of 17 wickets across the two formats with his right-arm leg-spin.

4. Saurabh Netravalkar

Saurabh Netravalkar has seen many ups and downs in his cricket career so far. Once upon a time, he played for the India U-19s. However, he quit the game for some time and then focused on studies. He became a software engineer after studying at Cornell University.

Netravalkar would occasionally play cricket in the USA. His career soon revived, and he is now the captain of the USA cricket team. Netravalkar is a left-arm fast bowler. In ICC U-19 World Cup 2010, he had dismissed Joe Root while playing for India U-19s.

5. One of the India U-19 cricketers to have won U-19 World Cup: Smit Patel

Another ICC U-19 World Cup winner to feature on this list is Smit Patel. He scored the winning runs for India U-19s in the final of the tournament played against Australia U-19s. Patel is a wicket-keeper batsman from Gujarat. He played for multiple domestic teams but never received IPL cap.

After trying hard to break into the Indian cricket team, Patel eventually decided to move to the USA. He has now earned a contract in the Caribbean Premier League as well. He could play for the USA team in the future.

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