Sathya Venkatesan, far left, receives a man of the match award at nationals. Courtesy photo

‘Gentle Giant’ shines on local, national and international cricket pitches

As wicket keeper, Sathya Venkatesan is the backbone of his cricket squads. Positioned behind the batter like a baseball catcher, he encourages his teammates, develops strategy and knows what his opponents bring to the matches.

The 15-year-old Redmond resident — who attends the International Community School in Kirkland — took up the game 10 years ago in his native India and has continued playing on the Eastside for the last six years.

Venkatesan, who is nicknamed “Gentle Giant,” has received copious awards during contests and at academies in India as best batsman, captain and man of the match. One of his goals is to represent the United States U19 squad at the International Cricket World Cup in 2020.

At the recent national tournament, his Northwest U15 squad placed third in Chicago; his U13 and U14 teams notched first place at nationals the prior two years.

“I have a passion for cricket. I used to watch a lot of cricket in India — cricket is like a religion in India. Playing cricket with others on the team is the best part of it,” said Venkatesan, whose family moved to the area for his dad’s work at Microsoft Corp.

Over the years, he has played for the United States Development team; participated in international tours to Sri Lanka representing the USA Cricket Global Academy and also played matches with U23 boys and seniors who were visiting Sri Lanka; trained at the Just Cricket and Abhimanyu Cricket academies in India; and attended the International Cricket Council U17 combined selection in San Francisco.

The game is played between two 11-player teams on a cricket field, which features a rectangular 22-yard-long pitch at the center with a wicket — or target of three wooden stumps topped by two bails — at each end. Venkatesan said that some games last eight hours, and international test games can last five days.

When he’s not traveling the nation and globe playing cricket, Venkatesan competes with other kids in adult NorthWest Cricket League matches in Redmond, Issaquah and Seattle.

He’s impressed with the local and national cricket talent and noted that to achieve success in the sport, he has to “put in lots of practice and keep my fitness level high.”

More in Sports

All smiles and cheers at softball send-off rally

Blue and white balloons surrounded the scene as the city of Kirkland… Continue reading

Send-off rally set for Kirkland majors softball all-stars

The City of Kirkland will hold a send-off rally for the Kirkland… Continue reading

Three Junior Softball World Series alums (left to right): Maida Micheloni played on the Italian 2014 team, Tori Bivens played on the 2013, 2014 and 2015 host Kirkland teams and Chiara Bassi played on the Italian 2013 team. Micheloni and Bassi played for Bothell High as exchange students from Italy, and they met Bivens while she played for Lake Washington High. Courtesy photo
Celebrating 20 years of bringing together teams from around the world

It’s nearly time for Little League softball teams from around the world… Continue reading

Getting their kicks at Lil’ Kangs Soccer Camp

Top photo, Lake Washington High senior-to-be Taryn Chisholm, right, has a blast… Continue reading

Thurston takes over as Juanita High’s new athletic director

Luckey retires after two years as Rebel AD and 37 years with LWSD

Ronan earns four medals at Special Olympics USA Games

Kirkland’s Frannie Ronan earned silver medals on the bars and beam in… Continue reading

Kang players, coaches fired up at spring football practices

Lake Washington finished 7-4 overall last season

Juanita, Lake Washington players make 3A KingCo all-league teams

Here’s a list of Kirkland-area athletes who were honored.

Most Read