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‘Aging backwards’: Mohammed Kaif takes a dig at Naseem Shah’s age

Naseem Shah, 16, clocked speeds in excess of 140 kph on all six deliveries in his first Test over on Friday. However, Mohammad Kaif and some cricket fans have found some evidence from the past which suggests Naseem is not really 16 years old.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: November 23, 2019 10:45:33 am
Naseem Shah made his Test debut for Pakistan against Australia this week (AP Photo)

Naseem Shah, 16, has shot to stardom ever since he made the Pakistan Test squad for the Australia series. The latest pace sensation from Pakistan made his debut in Perth earlier this week, being part of the pace attack Pakistan have fielded in their first Test of the series.

A lot has been made of Naseem Shah’s young age. Steve Smith had remarked before the Test that Naseem was someone half his age and that this would be something Australia were planning to use against him. “We’ll try to make him bowl long spells. At 16, he wouldn’t be used to that,” the one-time Australia captain had said.

However, former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif is one of those who have cast doubt on Naseem Shah’s age.

On Friday, Kaif replied to a tweet by an esteemed Pakistani journalist from last year, in which Naseem had been cited as a 17-year-old. The journalist, Saj Sadiq, is the editor of PakPassion.

Not only that, one of the replies to Kaif’s tweet had a clipping of a newspaper article from 2016, in which Naseem Shah is cited as a 16-year-old.

Bowling his first over in Test cricket on Friday, Naseem clocked speeds in excess of 140 kph on all six deliveries.

Naseem Shah’s age might not be a matter of concern since he has already broken through to international cricket, but questions surrounding age have plagued Pakistan cricket for a long time.

In the early 2000s, Hasan Raza had shot to short-lived fame for being the youngest international cricketer – at 14 years on debut – but it had then turned out that his age had been much more.

Even Shahid Afridi’s age has been a matter of doubt, with the cricketer revealing in his recent autobiography that his age had been wrongly registered in his days of playing club cricket in Pakistan and that this error ended up never being rectified.

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