Former USA U-19 player Karan Patel produced headlines beyond the cricket world when he was snapped up by the Chicago White Sox in Major League Baseball's first-year player draft on Tuesday.
By DreamCricket Staff
From USA's junior national cricket team to a possible career in the big league of another bat and ball sport, Texas native Karan Patel drew was drafted in the 7th round - 200th overall - on Tuesday by the Chicago White Sox in the Major League Baseball first-year player draft. According to MLB.com's signing bonus pool for the 7th round is $231,100, meaning that is the maximum that Patel can be given as an initial signing bonus without the White Sox incurring a luxury tax penalty.
Patel, a starting pitcher on the University of Texas-San Antonio Division One baseball team, was named first-team all-conference in Conference USA's postseason awards after finishing his senior season with a single-season school-record 104 strikeouts in 92 innings pitched. On the year, he compiled a 4-5 record in 15 starts with a 2.84 ERA. According to goutsa.com, the official site of the UT-San Antonio Roadrunners athletics teams, Patel ended his career third on the school's career strikeouts list with 250 strikeouts in 250 innings pitched over his four-year career.
A graduate of Kempner High School in Sugar Land, Texas, Patel balanced cricket and baseball during his high school years before committing full-time to baseball at UT-San Antonio. He was a member of USA's U-19 World Cup Qualifier squad for the 2015 ICC Americas U-19 tournament in Bermuda. Patel finished second on the team with eight wickets in 23.1 overs at an average of 23.10 and an economy rate of 4.88.
Patel's best figures were 4 for 40 in a one-run loss to Canada in which captain Alex Shoff was memorably run out for 103 in the final over to end the match. USA ultimately finished as runner-up to Canada, who clinched the region's berth to advance to the 2016 ICC U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh. Patel enrolled at UT-San Antonio a few months later and may now be on his way to baseball stardom.
The Texas native is not the only one in his family with cricket ties. His father, Kuldeep, is a former USA national team representative and also served as a USACA men's national team selector for several years through 2015 before USACA was suspended and eventually expelled by the ICC.