The young Pakistan pace bowling sensation who had the fans raving about last week was handed a surprise Test debut against Australia in the first Test at the Gabba on Thursday.
With his debut he became the seventh cricketer to make international debut at the age of 16, a list that comprises the all-time leading run-getter in cricket, Sachin Tendulkar.
He received his Test cap from the legendary Waqar Younis, who himself had made his Test debut at the age of 17 in 1989, in the same match as Tendulkar’s debut match. And while accepting his Test cap, the 16-year-old could not hold back his tears and got emotional.
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Naseem, touted to be an exciting prospect, displayed his credentials during Pakistan’s warm-up game against Australia XI at Perth Stadium on Wednesday which ended in a draw with the tourists making a strong statement with the pink ball. Having not bowled in the first innings, Naseem delivered a cracking spell of fast bowling that culminated in the teenager dismissing Marcus Harris (20) with a fearsome bouncer that caught the left-hander’s edge. He finished with figures of 1-21 in the match.
That said, Naseem was struck by a personal tragedy – the death of his mother – but after speaking to his family, he turned up and could be gearing for what could be the biggest moment of his cricket career.