Kenya’s Gurdeep Singh ‘proud’ to be world’s second youngest ODI player ever

Gurdeep Singh debuted for Kenya in a One-Day International (ODI) on Friday against Afghanistan in Sharjah aged 15 years and 258 days to become the world’s second youngest ODI player.

by BIPIN DANI

The opener was unaware of his impending debut until a hint by his room-mate and captain Collins Obuya the night before in the team’s UAE hotel.

“It was a pleasant surprise”, Singh said. “I was very excited and glad. Yes, I regret for not being able to score many runs but I hope to perform better in matches to come.”

Although he was out cheaply he has many years ahead of him and is proud to have come this far.

“Although it is not a world record, I feel proud to be the youngest Kenyan”, he added. “The captain had asked me to focus solely on the game and I tried to do so”.

The world record belongs to Pakistan’s Hasan Raza, who was 14 years and 233 days old when he made his debut against Zimbabwe at Quetta in 1996.

Gurdeep’s parents are from Jalandhar, where India’s Harbhajan Singh was born, and the family migrated to Kenya a few years ago.

There has always been doubt about Hasan Raza’s age on debut as some players from the sub-continent have no correct age-proof.

“Gurdeep has the right birth date but I am not sure about Hasan Raza”, Nadeem Ahmed, the Pakistani-born Level II coach of Singh offered. “Anyhow when the world has accepted Raza being the youngest ODI player, we are content with Gurdeep’s Kenyan record.”

“Gurdeep is very talented”, the coach added. “He started playing the game seriously at the age of 12 and he can complete with any players of his age, be it India or anywhere”.

James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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