Following are some of the youngest players to debut for their national team. Their talent, cricketing skills, hard work and efforts opened the gate to their dreams a little early than other players.
1. Sajjida Shah (12 years 171 days)
Syeda Sajjida Shah made her national debut when she was just 12 years, 171 days old. A Pakistani bowling all-rounder is to date the youngest player, male or female, to play international cricket. She has played almost 42 ODIs and 2 Test matches. Both her debut matches were against Ireland. Her career highlight came at 2003 IWCC Trophy while playing against Japan. She made Japanese batting line-up fall like house of cards when she took 7 wickets by giving just 4 runs which was the best bowling performance not only in the tournament but in the history of Women’s ODI Cricket. With 12 wickets in the tournament she was the highest wicket-taker. She made history by becoming the only woman till date to take a five wicket haul at the age of 15 years and 158 days.
2. Gaby Lewis (13 years 166 days)
Born in a family of cricketers her interest towards the game was obvious. Lewis was 12 years when she was named in Cricket Ireland’s Emerging Players squad and a year later she made it to the national team. In 2014, at the age of 13 she was selected in Ireland’s T20 squad against South Africa and became the youngest T20 player. She’s the only player, in either sex, born in 21st century except for Pakistan’s Sajjida Shah to play international cricket. The road for Gaby from here is surely upwards and onwards.
3. Lucy O’Reilly (13 years 241 days)
Lucy was just 13 years and 241 days old when she first made her appearance for Ireland Women’s Cricket team. This Irish bowler left no stone unturned in all the 4 matches she played in the tournament for her country and emerged as the leading wicket- taker, with 11 wickets. Her clinical performance was recognized and she was named Rising Star of Ireland’s squad by ICC and was also named in ICC Women’s Global Development Squad.
4. Elena Tice (13 years 272 days)
This Irish all-rounder has not only presented her country in Cricket but also Field Hockey. She made her international cricket debut in 2011 when she was only 13 years and 272 days which makes her the second youngest player, male or female, after Pakistan’s Sajjida Shah to play international cricket. Both her T20 and ODI debut were against Netherlands. She holds the record for highest 10th wicket partnership with Louise McCarthy in Women’s Twenty20 International. She represented Ireland in 2014 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 and 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup Final.
5. Fiona Urquhart (13 years 355 days)
This Scottish Cricketer made her international debut when she was just 13 years and 355 days old, which made her the second youngest debutant then. She was a part of all the eight ODI matches Scotland has played till date. She was appointed as the captain of team for 2008 World Cup Qualifier which was held in South Africa but due to an injury during the tournament she had to sit back on the bench for the rest of the tournament. After that she only captained the team in the absence of Kari Anderson. In 2017, she announced her retirement from international cricket.
6. Louise Little (13 years 360 days)
Louise Little made her international debut last year against South Africa when she was just 13 years and 360 days old. This Irish cricketer is right arm medium/fast bowler. She’s also the 5th youngest female cricketer to make her debut against South Africa. Her international cricket journey has just begun and the road ahead looks long and successful for her.
7. Julie van der Flier (14 years 64 days)
Juliana Aleida Eileen van der Flier is an Irish right handed batswoman who made her debut when she was 14 years and 60 days old. She has played only a single match till date.
8. Kim Garth (14 years 70 days)
Born to Irish cricketer Jonathon Garth and Anne-Marie McDonald, Kimberly Jennifer Garth chose cricket as her career as well. She made her ODI debut against New Zealand when she was 14 years and 70 days old. In 2010, when she played her first T20 against Pakistan, aged 14 years and 174days she was youngest woman across countries to play that format then. In 2012, in a match against Bangladesh she delivered her best bowling performance, taking 4 wickets for just 11 runs. In 2015, she was named International Women’s Cricket Player of the year at Cricket Ireland’s Awards.
9. Gargi Banerjee (14 years 165 days)
Former Indian cricketer, Gargi Banerjee was 14 years and 165 days old when she made her first appearance. She played her 1st ODI against England in 1978 and 1st Test against Australia in 1984. She played a total of 12 Test and 26 ODI matches. She holds the record of scoring most number of runs (614 runs) in Test without hitting a century.
10. Johmari Logtenberg (14 years 166 days)
Johmari Logtenberg made both her Test and ODI debut against England. She was 14 years and 166 days old when she played her first Test becoming the second youngest test cricketer of all time. In the same she scored 74 runs of 235 balls and took 1 wicket. In 2004, during the 5 match series of England’s tour of South Africa, she scored 2 half centuries and became highest run scorer of the series. In 2006, she was named Woman Cricketer of the Year at South African Cricket Awards. She scored her 1st ODI century in a series against Pakistan and was also named as ‘Batsman of the series’. Her highest score in ODI is 153* against Netherlands after which she became the only South African to score 2 ODI centuries. In 2008, she announced her retirement from cricket and switched to golf.
These bunch of females show us that age is just a number, don’t they? If you’re passionate about something and possess what is required then you’re never too young or too old to achieve it!