American Cricket Found a Star. He’s a Silicon Valley Tech Worker.

South Asian immigrants, many of them tech workers, are fueling cricket’s growth in the United States.

Pranshu Verma in The Washington Post: Saurabh Netravalkar finds it hard to log off Slack. But a few weeks ago, the Oracle software engineer shipped his final code and set an out-of-office note on the messaging app to focuson a more personal goal: playing forthe United States’ underdog cricket team at the T20 World Cup. “If there is anything urgent, my manager should be able to reach me,” he said in an interview with The Washington Post. “But I’m completely focused on the World Cup.”

A starter on Team USA, Netravalkar has been a breakout star of the tournament. When the United States faced the cricket titan Pakistan last week, Netravalkar led the team to a shocking win by bowling in overtime. The achievement catapulted him to sudden fame and has provided the sport a crucial marketing tool: a story to capture Americans’ attention. Fans have posted that Netravalkar introduced them to the sport and the scrappy American team “made up of dudes who play cricket as a hobby,” as one user posted on Threads. Screenshots of his LinkedIn profile spread across X, earning more than 21 million views and 60,000 likes. Others joke that the32-year-old, who was born in Mumbai and is in the United States on a green card, has made it harder for immigrant children to get respect from demanding parents.

More here.