Engineer's XI: An XI featuring cricketers who hold an engineering degree

Vaibhav Joshi

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"The engineer has been, and is, a maker of history," said a great American engineer James Kip Finch. 

With this very statement, James Kip Finch subtly summed up the prominence of an engineer by not mentioning fields in which an engineer would have made history. Probably he knew that an engineer would one day break the record of most wickets by an Indian bowler in Tests - Anil Kumble. Maybe!

Well, Anil Kumble wasn't the only one to break into the field of cricket after pursuing his majors in engineering. There were quite a few other players or should I say engineers who managed to support their passion of cricket and played the game at the international level while representing their nation.

Thus, without doing further ado, let us look at a playing XI comprised of cricketers who hold an engineering degree across all the disciplines. By the way, it wouldn't have been too hard to figure out that I am an engineer as well. 

Note: The sources of the article are Wikipedia, The Hindu, and Stars Unfolded.

#1 Saeed Anwar (Pakistan)

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Saeed Anwar, a legendary left-handed batsman, happens to be one of the best opening batsmen that Pakistan ever produced, especially in ODI cricket. With 8824 runs at an average of 39.22 and a strike-rate of 80.67, stands tall as third highest run-scorer for Pakistan in the 50-over format. Besides, he also hit 20 centuries and 43 fifties. 

Anwar's stately are known to everyone. However, one thing that everyone might not know is that before pursuing cricket as his career Saeed was an engineer with majors in Computer System. He completed his engineering from NED (Nadirshaw Eduljee Dinshaw) University of Engineering and Technology in Karachi, Pakistan. 

#2 Krishnamachari Srikkanth (India)

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An electrical engineer by profession, Krishnamachari Srikkanth graduated from the College of Engineering, Guindy in Chennai. The former captain of the Indian team was one of the prolific opening batsmen for India in the 1980s where he faced the opening music with the likes of Sunil Gavaskar. 

It was his attacking strokeplay that garnered a lot of attention in those days. The Tamil Nadu cricketer featured in 43 Tests and 146 ODIs for India from which he scored 2062 and 4091 runs respectively. He also had two Test centuries, 12 Test fifties, four ODI hundreds, and 27 ODI half-centuries to his name.

#3 Sujith Somasunder (India)

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Sujith Somasunder, a former Indian batsman, was a computer engineer before finding himself on the cricket fields for India. While acknowledging engineering's role in his cricket, Somasunder, in an interview to The Times of India, once said, "A bachelor's course in engineering is for four years, and in that time you learn the importance of balancing, which is key for a cricketer." 

Although the Karnataka batsman failed to market himself in international cricket, he scored loads of runs in first-class cricket. Having played 99 FC games, he amassed 5525 runs at a decent average of 35.64 while hitting 11 centuries and 30 fifties.

#4 Rashid Latif (Pakistan)

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Rashid Latif shared the same alma mater with his teammate Saeed Anwar. Latif graduated as a computer systems engineer from NED University of Engineering and Technology in Karachi, Pakistan. Although Rashid didn't have stately numbers up against his sleeve, he made quite a few vital contributions to the Pakistani Test and ODI team.

Being a part of 37 Tests for Pakistan, the right-handed batsman notched-up 1381 runs at an average of 28.77. His tally also includes a solitary Test century and seven Test fifties. He also played 156 FC games and scored more than 5000 runs.

#5 Sarfraz Ahmed (WK) (Pakistan)

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Sarfraz Ahmed, an electronics engineer who graduated from Dawood University of Engineering and Technology, has been doing a decent job for Pakistan, both as a captain and a batsman, across all the formats, especially in T20I cricket. Known for his aggressive attitude on the field, Ahmed's best performance as a captain came in the Champions Trophy 2017 where under his influential leadership Pakistan clinched a historic win against India in the finals.

Thus far, the right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman has featured in 47 Tests, 98 ODIs, and 54 T20Is for Pakistan. From these games, Sarfraz has scored 2545 Test, 1894 ODI, and 745 T20I runs. Besides, he also has three Test and two ODI hundreds while 16 Test and nine ODI fifties.

#6 Ravichandran Ashwin (India)

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Ravichandran Ashwin, India's one of the best spinners at the moment, completed his majors in Information Technology from SSN College of Engineering, Chennai. Having done his engineering, he made his debut for India in 2010, and since then he has been India's premier off-spinner.

Till date, Ashwin has played 65 Tests, 111 ODIs, and 46 T20Is for India. He also accounts for 342 Test, 150 ODI, and 52 T20I wickets. In addition to that, he has amassed 2361 Test runs at an average of 29.15 with four centuries and 11 fifties to his name.

#7 Anil Kumble (C) (India)

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Anil Kumble, the legendary Indian spinner and the former Indian captain, had done his BE in Mechanical Engineering from Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering (RVCE), Bangalore. He completed his bachelors in the year 1991-92. 

Jumbo featured in 132 Tests and 272 ODIs for India. From these games, he scalped 619 Test and 337 ODI wickets. Moreover, at 619 wickets, he currently stands tall as India's highest wicket-taker in Test cricket.

Besides, he also captained India in 14 Tests and won three of them while losing five with remaining six ending in a draw. Alongside an excellent spinner, he was an able batsman too. From 132 Test, he also scored 2506 runs while hitting a century and five fifties.

#8 EAS Prasanna (India)

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EAS Prasanna, India's premier spinner in the 1960s and 1970s, is an alumnus of National Institute of Engineering, Mysore. He believed that the engineering degree helped him analyze cricket better. After having made significant contributions for India, Prasanna also went onto win the prestigious Padma Shri Award.

Erapalli played 49 Tests for India and grabbed 189 wickets at an average of 30.38. He also had ten five-wicket-hauls and two ten-wicket-hauls. He also led his state team (Karnataka) to two Ranji Trophy titles. 

#9 Javagal Srinath (India)

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Javagal Srinath, one of fastest bowlers to have played for India, made his debut in 1991. Srinath happened to India's most significant bowlers in the late 90s when his steep bounce and raw pace stumbled the best of the batsmen at that time. 

Javagal featured in 67 Tests and 229 ODIs for India while taking 236 and 315 wickets respectively. The fiery paceman completed his BE in Instrumentation from Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE) in Mysore. 

#10 Rajneesh Gurbani (India)

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Rajneesh Gurbani, a fast bowling prodigy from Nagpur, rose to the occasion on the back of his excellent performances for Vidarbha in Ranji Trophy. Gurbani played an influential role in Vidarbha's run to their maiden Ranji Trophy title in the season 2017-18. His hat-trick in the finals of Ranji Trophy 2017-18 paved the way for Vidarbha's victory against Delhi. 

Rajneesh has done majors in Civil Engineering from KDK (Karmaveer Dadasaheb Kannamwar) College in Nagpur. So far, the young paceman has played 21 FC games. From 21 FC games, he has scalped 78 at an average of 21.88. Moreover, he also has six five-wicket hauls and a solitary ten-wicket haul to his name. 

#11 S Venkataraghavan (India)

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S Venkataraghavan, a part of India's legendary spin quartet in the 1960s and 1970s, completed his graduation from College of Engineering, Guindy. A recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri in the year 2003, Venkataraghavan was known for his classical off-spinners that tormented the batsmen more often than not. 

The TN spinner represented India in 57 Tests, and 15 ODIs. Although he failed miserably in the 50-over format, his Test bowling exploits were enough to call him a legend. From 57 Tests, he grabbed 156 wickets which also include three five-wicket hauls and a solitary ten-wicket haul. Post his cricketing career, he also served as an umpire and officiated six Ashes Test matches as well. Besides, he also officiated in three World Cups - 1996,1999, and 2003.