A Cricket Star Is Also a Top Engineer at Oracle: Tech Leaders With Successful Second Careers


Man kneels on grassy pitch as teammate runs over to him with arms open
Saurabh Netravalkar celebrates with teammate Harmeet Singh after the U.S. defeat Pakistan during the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup. Matt Roberts/ICC via Getty Images

Saurabh Netravalkar already has a demanding day job as a principal engineer for Oracle, one of the world’s largest software companies. But the 32-year-old still manages to make time for his second career as a cricket player. Netravalkar is a left-arm fast bowler for Team USA. Yesterday (June 6) he helped lead his team to victory in a stunning upset over Pakistan at the T20 Cricket World Cup in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Congrats USA Cricket on a historic result!” tweeted the software engineer’s employer in response to the win. “Proud of the team and our very own engineering and cricket star.”

Originally from Mumbai, Netravalkar had a burgeoning cricket career in India where he represented the nation’s under-19 team and played in the Ranji Trophy. He briefly gave up the sport for coding after moving to the U.S. to pursue a master’s degree in computer science at Cornell University. By 2017, he was back in the game and joined the U.S. national squad, even going on to captain the team throughout tournaments like the 2018-19 Regional Super50, Division 2 U19 World Cup and 2019 United Arab Emirate Tri-Nation Series.

After the 2023 founding of Major League Cricket, he was also drafted to the Washington Freedom—all the while managing his position at Oracle. “I am very grateful to destiny that it gave me a second chance to pursue cricket again here and very lucky to balance it with my full-time job as a software engineer,” Netravalkar told the Hindustan Times last year.

The athlete has risen the ranks of Oracle since joining in 2016 as a member of its technical staff, having been promoted to senior member in 2018 and principal engineer in 2022. He also previously combined his passion for coding and cricket in 2013 when he co-founded CridDeCode, a performance analysis app for cricket players.

Other notable tech leaders have found success in second careers

Given the fact that Oracle CEO and co-founder Larry Ellison is an avid athlete himself, it isn’t surprising that the company, which gave Netravalkar leave to participate in the T20 World Cup, is supportive of their employees’ out-of-office pursuits. Ellison has long competed in sailing and in the 1990s won five Maxi World Championships on his 78-foot-yacht the Sayonora. He’s also a backer of the Oracle Team USA syndicate, which won the America’s Cup yacht race in 2010 and 2013, and in 2018 co-founded the tech-infused sailing league SailGP.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has also found success in sports. The computer programmer is a pioneering proponent of Segway polo, which combines the two-wheeled motorized vehicles with traditional polo. Playing for the Silicon Valley Aftershocks, he’s even participated in the Woz Cup, the sport’s world championship which takes its name from the legendary tech figure.

Meta (META) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, meanwhile, began practicing Jiu-Jitsu during the Covid-19 pandemic and last year took home gold and silver medals after competing in his first-ever tournament.

Other notable figures across tech and finance have found success through more untraditional passions. Rip Gerber, the former chief marketing officer for Salesforce company Vlocity, moonlights as an author of techno-thrillers like the 2007 Pharma and 2010 Killer Virus, while Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO David Solomon has for years performed as a DJ under the moniker “D-Sol” and in 2022 played at the Lollapalooza music festival. And Richard Branson, the billionaire co-founder of the Virgin Group who has achieved numerous accolades in his pursuit of adrenaline-fueled travel, currently holds seven Guinness World Records ranging from being the oldest person to kitesurf across the English Ocean to accomplishing the first-ever crossing of the Atlantic in a hot air balloon.

A Cricket Star Is Also a Top Engineer at Oracle: Tech Leaders With Successful Second Careers





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