Bio

A native of Gujurat, India, Patel played for his State at U14, U16, and U19 level before moving to the United States in 2003.

He represented the USA Under 19 at the 2006 version of the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka with some success, and has been in and out of the National side since 2015.

A compact left handed batsman with a solid technique, Patel is also capable of bowling more than useful left arm spinners which brings an all-round element to his game.

86

Playing Number

Team Role

Middle Order Batsman, Left Arm Orthodox Bowler

Hometown

Riverside, California

Nickname

Moni, Chotu, Munna

Country of Birth

India

Career Highlights

Scoring 178 v Baroda Cricket Association for Gujarat Under 14s

Favorite Cricketer

Sachin Tendulkar & Ricky Ponting

"It means everything to me to play for my country"

Bio Continued...


Indian by birth - check. Passionate about cricket - check. But that is where the clich├ęs end with Mrunal Patel.

During our short conversation, it became apparent that this middle order batsman and left arm orthodox spinner’s passions extended far beyond the cricket field. When discussing favorite holiday destinations, the conversation turned to the plight of the endangered Asiatic Lion and the beauty of the Gir Forest National Park in his home State of Gujurat, where the only remaining population of this subspecies resides.

He also insisted I mention the sacrifice of his parents, and the loving support of his wife and in-laws in helping him achieve his goals in life to this point.

At times during our chat his voice was thick with emotion. Not the sort of chat one would normally associate with a sportsman. Much as I would have loved to dwell further on things of a more personal nature, I needed to steer the conversation toward cricket.

A promising youth player during his early years, Mrunal played for his home State of Gujurat at U14, U16, U17 and at U19 level where his team captain was fellow U.S. squad member Timil Patel. In one U14 match against Baroda he scored 178 with the bat, and took 4 for 93 with the ball, an indication of the type of all-round ability he possesses. When he emigrated to the U.S. with his family as a 17-year-old he soon caught the attention of local selectors, touring with the U.S. U19 team to the World Cup in Sri Lanka. However, for several years following that U19 World Cup, Patel invested more time and energy into his studies, one of many opportunities that his parents had foreseen for him given their new life in the United States.

But cricket remained a part of Mrunal’s life. Whenever he could he continued to play cricket for his club in California, alongside current and former U.S. players Nisarg Patel, Ravi Timbawala, and his old Gujurat U19 captain Timil Patel.

For two years, he also went on placement in the Caribbean Islands of St. Martin and Antigua. Whilst there he had the opportunity to train and play alongside some First-Class West Indian cricketers, as the Medical School where he was studying had a grass wicket and some decent cricket facilities.

In 2015, he was again able to give more time to pursuing top level cricket. He was selected for the U.S. Senior Men’s team to play in the ICC Americas Division 1 tournament in Indianapolis, and then again for the World T20 Qualifier in Ireland. And now, in 2017, he’s heading away with the team to Uganda in their quest for WCL Division 3 glory.

Let’s rewind back to the 17-year-old Mrunal Patel, who was taken by surprise when his father announced they would be moving to the USA. For many other young men with aspirations of playing for their country it may have seemed like the death of a dream. But not Patel. By his own admission, he was indifferent to the move. And now over a decade later the dream, in his own words is “getting closer to how I envisaged it. It means everything to me to play for my country.”