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Updated - Dec 6, 2017 1:17 am
Afghanistan’s Mujeeb Zadran has been among the news over the last couple of months for his sensational performances for their Under-19 team. The off-spinner recorded the 2nd best bowling figures in Youth ODI cricket with 7/19 against Bangladesh and starred in their Youth Asia Cup triumph in Malaysia with a 6-fer and a 5-fer against Pakistan. Thus, the youngster became the first player with two 6-wicket hauls and the 2nd player with three 5-fers in Youth ODI cricket.
His consistent performances earned him a call-up for Afghanistan’s 3-match ODI series against Ireland in UAE with the 16-year-old making his International debut in the first ODI played at the Sharjah. Thus, Mujeeb Zadran became the first player born in the 21st century to play International cricket in Men’s cricket as he was born in Khost on March 28 in 2001. The first ever cricketer of the 20th century was South Africa’s Buster Nupen, born on 1st January 1902 in Norway. Mujeeb also became the 9th youngest to make debut in ODI cricket and the youngest ever from Afghanistan to play International cricket.
At the age of 16 years and 252 days, Mujeeb broke the record of Naveen-ul-Haq, the captain of their U19 team. Naveen-ul-Haq made his debut in an ODI against Bangladesh last year at the age of 17 years and 2 days. While Mujeeb became the first male International cricketer to be born in the 21st century, there are already four International cricketers in Women’s cricket who were born in the 21st century. The first of them was Ireland’s Gaby Lewis during a T20I against South Africa on 9th September 2014. Interestingly, Lewis was born on 27th March in 2001, a day before Mujeeb was born.
Two other cricketers in Women’s cricket to be born in the 21st century are from Ireland as Lara Maritz and Louise Little made their debuts during the ODI Quadruple series in May hosted by South Africa. Maritz was born on 7th January 2001 while Louise was born on 16th May 2003. Windies Women’s player Qiana Joseph, born on 1st January 2001, made her debut during the recent Women’s World Cup. Thus, she became the first player to born in the 21st century to feature in a World Cup game (Men’s or Women’s cricket).