On this International Youth Day, we look at a few talented teenage cricketers who are already making a name in the international arena.
There are very few better joys than watching a young player making big strides in international cricket. Let us look at some of the upcoming stars who have already embarked on the journey towards a bright future.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Afghanistan Men)
Afghanistan win by 29 runs!— ICC (@ICC) November 17, 2019
They take the series 2-1 🏆
A superb display from Afghanistan's youngsters Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Naveen-ul-Haq.#AFGvWI | SCORECARD 👇 https://t.co/hpZTD9ux04 pic.twitter.com/TlDHTHvoJ8
The 18-year-old Afghanistan wicket-keeper batsman has only played 10 matches for the senior side so far but has impressed with his 360-degree batting and composure under pressure. Last year in Lucknow, Gurbaz made a 52-ball 79 to help Afghanistan to a T20I series win over West Indies to win the Player of the Match award. His idol is none other than AB de Villiers, and his batting style is modelled on the South African batsman.
Shafali Verma (India Women)
Just 16 years old, Shafali Verma is a teenage prodigy who has already stunned the cricketing world with her breathtaking shot-making. The opening batter finished as the third-highest run-scorer in T20Is for India Women in 2019. She entered the 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup as the No.1-ranked batter in women's T20Is and made 163 runs in five matches in the tournament, scoring at a strike rate of 158.25.
Naseem Shah (Pakistan Men)
One of the quickest bowlers in world cricket today, Naseem Shah has played five Tests for Pakistan and is a part of the national team touring England currently. On his debut in 2019 in Australia as a 17-year-old, Naseem impressed quite a few experts for hurrying up the Aussie batsmen. He has 15 wickets at an average of 29.20 in Tests. In February this year, Naseem became the youngest Test bowler to pick a hat-trick when he achieved the feat against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi.
Nannapat Koncharoenkai (Thailand Women)
No women's wicket-keeper has made more dismissals in T20Is before the age of 19 than Nannapat Koncharoenkai from Thailand. The 19-year-old wicket-keeper is also a top-order batter and has 388 runs in T20Is. Last year at Deventer, as Thailand beat Netherlands by 93 runs, their joint-largest in T20Is, Koncharoenkai starred with a half-century.
Nayeem Hasan (Bangladesh Men)
Nayeem Hasan made an entry into the Bangladesh national setup in 2018 after he was called into the Test team while he was playing the U19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand. The 6-feet tall off-spinner made his Test debut against West Indies in Chattogram in late 2018. Nayeem was recently in the spotlight for a brilliant performance against Zimbabwe in Dhaka earlier this year. Nayeem took 4/70 in the first innings and then went on to pick up a five-wicket haul in the second innings to finish with match figures of 9/152.
17-year-old Amelia Kerr has just become the second woman to hit an ODI double-hundred!— ICC (@ICC) June 13, 2018
What a talent! pic.twitter.com/ClARixNv4h
Amelia Kerr (New Zealand Women)
In 2018, as a 17-year-old, Amelia Kerr broke the world record for the highest individual score in women's cricket when she smashed an unbeaten 232 against Ireland in Dublin. She remains the youngest player ever, irrespective of gender and format of the game, to score a double century in international cricket. 19 years now, Kerr has played 32 matches apiece in ODIs and T20Is and is as good a leg-spinner as she is a middle-order batter.