USA Cricket’s Rise: From Underdogs to Super 8 Contenders in the T20 World Cup


Monank Patel, the US captain, embodies this surging passion for cricket in the USA. Hailing from Gujarat, India, Patel’s love for the sport began at a young age, nurtured by his father

Archan Mehta
New York, NY

Cricket is experiencing a surge in popularity within the USA, fueled in part by the ongoing T20 World Cup. Team USA’s impressive performance, marked by victories against powerhouses like Pakistan and Canada, has brought their potential to the forefront. While the abandoned match against Ireland due to a wet outfield played a role in their qualification (awarding both teams a point), it can’t diminish their strong showing throughout the group stage. This advancement to the Super 8 has significantly raised the sport’s profile in the country. The success not only boosts interest and investment in cricket, but also guarantees automatic qualification for the 2026 T20 World Cup, promising continued growth and engagement. This performance from Team USA is proving they don’t just play baseball with a weird stick nor its just about hot dogs and home runs.

Leading this American charge is seasoned coach Stuart Law. With a coaching history encompassing teams like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, West Indies, and Afghanistan, Law’s philosophy emphasizes trust and empowering his players to showcase their skills. He also prioritizes fostering strong team relationships, a key ingredient in helping underdog teams rise to the challenge.

Monank Patel, the US captain, embodies this surging passion for cricket in the USA. Hailing from Gujarat, India, Patel’s love for the sport began at a young age, nurtured by his father. Immigrating to the US, he initially ran a restaurant, putting cricket on the back burner. However, when the opportunity to play for the US team arose, he grabbed it with both hands, viewing it as a second chance at high-level cricket. His crucial half-century against Pakistan stands as a testament to his dedication.

This rise of USA cricket showcases their untapped potential and unwavering spirit. Aaron Jones, a flamboyant player on the team, emphasizes that their success is a result of both determination and honed skills, not just luck. While the rain-affected match played a part in their qualification, Jones highlights their burning desire to prove themselves on the field. He expresses immense pride in the often-overlooked talent within the US team, confident that they can compete with any opponent when they play proper cricket. This qualification has not only bolstered their confidence but also brought a significant financial boost through prize money and a surge in national interest for the sport. Looking forward to their upcoming matches in Barbados, Jones anticipates fervent local support, reflecting the growing global recognition of USA cricket.

Another standout American player is Saurabh Netravalkar, an Indian-born talent making waves at the T20 World Cup. More than just a brilliant mind with a Cornell degree and a successful career as an Oracle engineer, Netravalkar is a skilled left-arm bowler. He previously donned the Indian U-19 jersey but couldn’t crack the senior squad. Now, proudly representing the USA, he became a national hero by successfully defending 18 runs in a super over against Pakistan, securing a historic victory. Netravalkar personifies the ideal balance between academics and athletics, inspiring young people to pursue their passions in both areas. It could just be coincidence that oracle stock is up 13% since the time Saurabh dismissed Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma on June 12th!

As the T20 World Cup progresses, eight teams – India, Australia, England, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, West Indies, USA, and South Africa – have advanced to the Super 8 stage. Team USA’s journey continues with a match against South Africa on June 19 in Antigua. They then face the West Indies on June 21 in Barbados, followed by a clash against England on June 23, also in Barbados. Dominating the group stage, India has secured their spot in the Super 8. They’ll face off against Australia, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh in this next round. The matches will be held across Barbados, Antigua, and St Lucia, with only the top two teams from this group progressing to the thrilling semifinals.

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