We are all aware of the popularity of cricket in India. The sport is worshipped like a religion and the players who play it are treated like demi-gods. The competition to make it to the national team is so cutthroat that a lot of youngsters spend their entire childhood and early life just playing cricket and honing their skills. A lot of players aspire to play international cricket for their country someday but unfortunately, only a handful make it. In India, millions dream of donning the blues. With such intense competition, a lot of talented youngsters miss out.
A recent trend that has been witnessed is that a lot of the under-19 achievers fail to translate their success in senior international cricket. There was a time when Yuvi, Jaddu, Kohli, Dhawan, and others came from the rank and file of under-19 cricket. However, that is not true today. We look at players who played international cricket in the under-19 stage and players who earned a great amount of prominence in domestic cricket but could not make it to the international team of India.
Here is a list of 7 such players who moved to the USA to give their cricketing careers a chance there.
1. Unmukt Chand
He was the next big thing around 2012. He had captained the team which won the ICC U-19 World Cup and had a heroic time with the bat. He scored an unbeaten century in the finals to win India the cup. However, his career did not pick up from there. He recently announced that he was quitting cricket in India and has now moved to the States where he has commenced playing in the in the Minor Cricket League.
2. Smit Patel
He was Chand’s teammate in the 2012 team. the Gujarat batsman had a flare in his batting and was eye-catching. He was instrumental in the 2012 campaign for India. However, with cut-throat competition at the senior level, Smit could not make a breakthrough. He moved to the US to try his luck at cricketing pursuits there. Patel is a talented wicket-keeping batsman and has a long future ahead of him. He played in the CPL for Barbados Tridents.
3. Harmeet Singh
He was a slow left-arm orthodox bowler and was the talk of the town in the U-19 days. He had a straight shot at the team and was accompanied by Ravindra Jadeja in his early days. However, he remained in the shadows of Jaddu who rose to prominence and was picked in the team. Harmeet could not compete with the rising talents like Ashwin and established players such as Bhajji and decided to move to the US to try his hand in bowling.
4. Siddarth Trivedi
Trivedi was a phenomenal pace bowler in the Ranji circuit as well as IPL. He played for Gujarat and Saurashtra in the domestic circuit and was picked up by Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. He picked up 65 wickets in IPL during his stay in RR. However, he was banned by BCCI for a year in 2013 for failing to report a case of corruption. Trivedi has now moved to the US and is part of the American Cricket Academy and Club where he is in the capacity of a bowling coach.
5. Milind Kumar
Milind Kumar quit cricket in India and signed up for the Minor League. He had featured for Delhi, Sikkim, and Tripura in domestic cricket. He also played for the IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2019 and then got named in Delhi Daredevils in the 2013 IPL. As an all-rounder, he has played 46 first-class matches and scored close to 3000 runs and picked 33 wickets.
6. Sunny Sohal
He is a former Indian cricketer who moved to the United States. A right-handed batsman with some infrequent leg-spin bowling, Sohal played for Punjab in the domestic circuit in 2005. He went onto play for India in U-19 and also played for Kings XI Punjab and Deccan Chargers. He could not make much of an impact in India and moved to the US in 2018. He represented the US as an international player in August 2019 for the first time in a T20 game against Bermuda.
7. Saurabh Netravalkar
Fast bowling Saurabh was part of the 2010 Under-19 World Cup, joined the US cricket team in 2018. He is part of the US team playing in the ICC Cricket League Division 3. He had failed to create an impression in the U-19 World Cup and had the company of future Indian stars such as Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.