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November 21, 2019

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Pakistan’s teen sensation

Sixteen-year-old Naseem Shah is ready to become the youngest cricketer ever to make his test debut in Australia, little more than a week after his mother’s death in Pakistan. Naseem, born on February 15, 2003, got plenty of attention in a tour game in Perth last week not only because he tested the resolve of some experienced international batsmen, but also because it came so soon after his mother died. Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali is confident the teenage paceman is among a group of bowlers who can help end Pakistan’s long winless streak Down Under. Flight logistics and religious customs meant Naseem couldn’t make it home in time for the funeral, so he stayed in Australia and skipped the first innings of the drawn tour game against Australia A before returning with a fiery eight overs in the second innings that netted 1-21, including the wicket of opener Marcus Harris. “Obviously, it was a hard time for him, but he coped with it and he came out and bowled the very next day, which is very heartening,” Azhar said yesterday, on the eve of the first test at the Gabba.


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