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Top 10 Youngest Cricketers in Test History

Jishnu Brahmaputra
February 21, 2022, 10:20
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Top 10 Youngest Cricketers in Test History

The word ‘prodigy’ is thrown around a lot in sports, usually every time a talented youngster hits the scene. However, many teams don’t usually let a young player play at the very highest level, choosing to vet them through the domestic circuit first instead.

In particular, it is teams from the Indian subcontinent — especially Pakistan and Bangladesh — that field the youngest debutants. Some go on to have thriving careers while others get lost in obscurity, but all of them cause a bit of a stir when they make the team. Here are the 10 youngest Test debutants.

Player Age Team Opposition Ground Match Date Scorecard
Hasan Raza 14y 227d Pakistan v Zimbabwe Faisalabad 24 Oct 1996 Test # 1337
Mushtaq Mohammad 15y 124d Pakistan v West Indies Lahore 26 Mar 1959 Test # 473
Mohammad Sharif 15y 128d Bangladesh v Zimbabwe Bulawayo 19 Apr 2001 Test # 1543
Aaqib Javed 16y 189d Pakistan v New Zealand Wellington 10 Feb 1989 Test # 1115
SR Tendulkar 16y 205d India v Pakistan Karachi 15 Nov 1989 Test # 1127
Aftab Baloch 16y 221d Pakistan v New Zealand Dhaka 8 Nov 1969 Test # 665
Talha Jubair 16y 223d Bangladesh v Sri Lanka Colombo (PSS) 21 Jul 2002 Test # 1609
Nasim-ul-Ghani 16y 248d Pakistan v West Indies Bridgetown 17 Jan 1958 Test # 446
Naseem Shah 16y 279d Pakistan v Australia Brisbane 21 Nov 2019 Test # 2368
Enamul Haque jnr 16y 320d Bangladesh v England Dhaka 21 Oct 2003 Test # 1665

1. Hasan Raza (Pakistan)

The youngest player to ever play Test cricket by quite some margin, Hasan Raza was just 14 years and 227 days old at the time of his first Test, which was against Zimbabwe in Faisalabad on 24 October 1996. Despite being given a chance so early, though, he was subsequently all but forgotten for a while, and never really given a prolonged chance on the international stage despite a glowing First-Class career. He only played 7 Tests in total for Pakistan.

2. Mushtaq Mohammad (Pakistan)

Another Pakistani youngster with plenty of talent, Mushtaq was the youngest debutant in Test history for over 37 years until Raza broke his record. In his debut match, which took place in Lahore on 26 March 1959, Pakistan took a pounding from the West Indies, losing by more than an innings. Unlike Raza, However, Mushtaq would go on to play 57 Tests and make an indelible mark on Pakistani cricket history as an excellent all-rounder.

3. Mohammad Sharif (Bangladesh)

A player of little renown, Mohammad Sharif was a decent medium-fast bowler who was set back time and again by injury and lack of form at international level. His first Test took place when he was only 15 years and 128 days old when Bangladesh played Zimbabwe in Bulawayo on 19 April 2001. He never quite excelled for his national team, and only played 10 Tests before he was dropped indefinitely.

4. Aaqib Javed (Pakistan)

A player who might have reached much greater heights had he not been a contemporary of two of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, Aaqib Javed made his Test debut at the age of 16 years and 189 days against New Zealand in Wellington. The date was 10 February 1989, and the match went on to be a draw without a single wicket for Aaqib. Although he would only play 22 Tests for Pakistan, he had a strong ODI career with the Men in Green with 163 games to his name.

5. Sachin Tendulkar (India)

The great God of Cricket was touted to be a future superstar very early in his First-Class career, and no matter who you are, if you’re reading this you know he lived up to his potential. Long before his name would become a chant in and of itself, he made his debut at the age of 16 years and 205 days — becoming the youngest Indian to play a Test by a margin of over 6 months. Although he only scored 15 runs in that match, he would go on to play an additional 199 Tests and score another 15,906 Test runs.

6. Aftab Baloch (Pakistan)

Aftab Baloch is a name few people outside of the Pakistani domestic circuit will remember, but he could likely have become a hero for his country’s team had he received proper chances. Aftab debuted on 8 November 1969 when he was only 16 years and 221 days old, playing against New Zealand in Dhaka when it was the capital of then-East Pakistan. The match ended as a draw, and Aftab would only ever play one more Test for his country — that too 5 years later.

7. Talha Jubair (Bangladesh)

When Bangladesh gained their Test status in 2000, the country’s cricketing infrastructure was barely existent, and after the team began to struggle to justify that status, a flurry of youngsters were given chances in the breath of throwing things at the wall in the hope that something sticks. Talha Jubair was one such player, and he made his debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo on July 21, 2002 at the age of 16 years and 320 days. Despite a good start, Jubair faded out and ended up playing only 7 Tests for his country.

8. Nasim-ul-Ghani (Pakistan)

We now head back to Pakistan, and back in time to 17 January 1958 to meet 16 years and 248 days old Nasim-ul-Ghani, who was about to play his first Test. Going up against the West Indies, Nasim bore witness to one of the greatest innings in Test history in the form of Hanif Mohammad’s 970-minute 337, but didn’t manage to take any wickets. The match went on to be a draw, and Nasim played a further 28 matches for his country as a decent bowler who was handy with the bat.

9. Naseem Shah (Pakistan)

Fast-forwarding 6 decades, there’s another Naseem on our list, albeit separated by spelling. This one is still a rising star, and after becoming the youngest bowler to take a Test hat-trick, Naseem has a long way to go past his 9 matches. On his debut, he was 16 years and 279 days old, and played against Australia at the Gabba.

10. Enamul Haque Junior (Bangladesh)

The last name on our list might be familiar to both young and old Bangladeshi readers or fans, because despite making his debut on 21 October 2003, Enamul Haque Junior is still prowling the domestic scene. Similar to Talha Jubair before him, Enamul was a spinner who was given a chance just in case. He was 16 years and 320 days old, and played against England in Dhaka only to see his team get beaten comprehensively. He did manage to pick up a couple of wickets, though.

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