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Josh Little

Bowlers Month | 20 under 21 to watch – Part 2

Bowlers Month

As part of Bowlers Month, we celebrate some extraordinary bowling talent aged 21 or under, who have been putting in impressive performances in the past few years.

Read Part 1

Some of them have sparkled at the Under-19 ICC Cricket World Cups, a few have already made the step up to senior cricket in their teens and some await first-class call-ups. All of them have impressed with their spirit and passion for the sport and offered glimpses of a promising future. Here's a chance to learn more about the bowlers, young men and women, all in their teens or just out of it, who have had performances of note in the past few years.

Rakibul Hasan (Bangladesh)
Slow left-arm orthodox

Rakibul was a standout player in Bangladesh’s title-clinching ICC Men's Under-19 Cricket World Cup campaign in 2020. He finished as their top wicket-taker with 12 wickets in six matches at an average of 10.16 and an economy of 3.05. His best of 5/19 came in the quarter-final against South Africa.

Hamidullah Qadri (England)
Right-arm off-spin

Hamidullah Qadri was a recognisable name in England cricketing circles even before he had a terrific Under-19 World Cup earlier this year. Born in Kandahar in Afghanistan, Qadri became the youngest player to represent Derbyshire in first-class cricket when he did so at the age of 16. He also became the first county cricketer born in the 21st century. He picked up 12 wickets in six matches at the U19 World Cup and was the second-highest wicket-taker for England.

Amelia Kerr (New Zealand)
Right-arm leg-spin

She may have just turned 20, but Kerr is already a core member of her New Zealand side, capable of turning the game with ball and bat. Since her debut in November 2016, she has played 70 international games, picking up 91 wickets and climbing to No.4 on the MRF Tyres ICC Women's T20I Rankings.  

Her career-best five-wicket haul in ODIs came in the same game where she made a record score of 232*.

Nahida Akter (Bangladesh)
Slow left-arm orthodox

Just 20, Nahida Akter is already one of four Bangladesh women to take 50 wickets or more in T20Is, having made her debut in both limited-overs formats as a 15-year-old. She finished as the leading wicket-taker for Bangladesh in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in 2019, taking 10 wickets in five matches with a best of 3/10.

Noor Ahmad (Afghanistan)
Slow left-arm wrist spin

Noor Ahmad  is a left-arm wrist spinner from Afghanistan
Noor Ahmad is a left-arm wrist spinner from Afghanistan

Known for his wily googly, Noor Ahmad is a prodigious young talent from Afghanistan that T20 franchises around the globe are already eyeing. He has played one first-class game and 15 T20s. Taking 19 wickets in those games, he averages 21.72. He had a good U19 World Cup too, picking up seven wickets in five games.

Annabel Sutherland (Australia)
Right-arm fast

Annabel Sutherland impressed in a tri-series involving India and England
Annabel Sutherland impressed in a tri-series involving India and England

Just 18, Annabel Sutherland has already won a T20 World Cup and secured a full-time contract with Australia. Adding to a special 2020 for her, she was also lucky enough to bowl to Sachin Tendulkar during a charity match in Australia. In the WBBL, where the young quick made her debut at 15, she has also impressed with her all-round skills.

Nayeem Hasan (Bangladesh)
Right-arm off-spin

A fast bowler turned off-spinner, Nayeem Hasan became Bangladesh’s first Test cricketer born in the 21st century when he was handed a debut against West Indies in Chattogram. The call-up came when he was playing the U19 World Cup in New Zealand in 2018. He picked up a five-wicket haul on debut and capped it off with a defiant display with the bat.

Waqar Salamkheil (Afghanistan)
Slow left-arm wrist-spin

Known for his mystery spin, Salamkheli made his Test debut against Ireland, picking up two wickets in both innings. A left-arm wrist-spinner who is difficult to read, he has 74 wickets from 12 first-class games already, with six five-wicket hauls. He was recruited by South African Mzansi Super League franchise, Tshwane Spartans, for the 2019 edition. 

Gerald Coetzee (South Africa)
Right-arm fast

A bowler who can hit the 145kph mark, Coetzee has played in two U19 World Cups, picking up eight wickets in 2018. Allan Donald, the former Proteas fast bowler, was all praise for him, predicting success: "There is no question in my mind that Gerald Coetzee will be in that (senior) South African side or part of that group fairly shortly."

Josh Little (Ireland)
Left-arm fast

A 4/45 on ODI debut against England shot Little into the limelight. A hockey player at under-16 and under-18 levels for Ireland, Little also played the U19 World Cup in 2016, shining with a three-wicket haul against India. Interestingly, Josh isn’t the only one from the Little family to take up the sport: sisters Louise (17) and Hannah (19) have also played international cricket for Ireland.

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