Pakistan bowling prodigy Naseem Shah, broke down while receiving his first Test cap earlier this week before troubling the Australian batting unit with his pace. At an age when most of the youngster find it difficult to break into the age level team, the 16 year old is at odds with some of the best in the world.
Unexpectedly, Shah found his name being pulled in an age concerning contention as numerous cricket enthusiasts took to their social media to question his age. It all began when an article printed by Pakistan’s Dawn quoted West Indian Andy Roberts calling Naseem a great 16 year old talent. The sole drawback was that the article was published in 2016.
Naseem’s name began to trend on social media as fans questioned his age. As a matter of fact, former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif also took a dig at Naseem. Kaif went on to say that while the bowler is looking like a terrific prospect, he is aging backwards. Kaif made the claim after a Pakistani journalist stated that Naseem is 17 year old.
Irked by the happening, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has denounced the claims and held out that Naseem Shah is 16 year old. PCB’s Chief Executive Wasim Khan did not mince his words as he criticized those questioning Naseem’s age. He also took a dig at India for the controversy as he stood in support of the player.
“You only need to look at his face,” Khan told The Tonk according to Nine Network Australia. “He’s hardly got any growth on his face. In terms of that, people question it no doubt, just because of his age and the fact that he’s a mature lad and the fact that he’s playing international cricket at this age.”
“But the bottom line is he’s 16 years old and he’s playing. We don’t really care what India think,” he added.
At the same time, the 16 year old managed to have an impact on his first International outing. While he managed to scalp just one wicket, he dazzled everyone with his pace. David Warner, who knocked 154 in the ongoing game, was Shah’s first international wicket.