Pakistan 16-year-old to make Test debut against Australia

BRISBANE, Australia (AFP) – Teenage bowling sensation Naseem Shah will become one of the youngest cricketers to play a Test after Pakistan captain Azhar Ali confirmed yesterday the 16-year-old will make his debut at the Gabba.

Shah, who opted to remain on tour after his mother died last week, made the grade for today’s first Test after impressing with an eight-over spell against Australia A in Perth.

“We are definitely looking to play him – he is bowling really well,” Azhar said ahead of the series opener in Brisbane.

Only handful of players have made their debut aged 16, including Sachin Tendulkar who went on to become an Indian batting legend.

The youngest Test player is listed by Cricinfo as Pakistan’s Hasan Raza, who was 14 on his 1996 debut, though his date of birth was later disputed.

Azhar said he had faith in Shah’s abilities through a high-pressure five-day game.

“He’s very fit, I have captained him in first-class matches and he has overs under his belt,” he said.