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Sunday, October 16, 2022

playing for Nation when they should be in Schools !!

Ever heard of a Cricketer by name - Vijay Laxman Mehra, born in Amritsar in 1938 ?

Today after  that shock defeat handed to Sri Lanka by Namibia – in the 2nd match of T20 WC at Geelong, Netherlands won by 3 wickets with 1 ball remaining chasing 112 set by United Arab Emirates. 

Vijay Mehra debuted at Brabourne and when he made his debut, Vijay Mehra was the youngest India to play Test cricket - 17 years, 265 days - a record till Maninder Singh broke it in 1982.  A slightly built right-hand opening batsman, Mehra made only 10 in that match. He improved to 32 in the next Test at New Delhi when he put on 68 runs for the first wicket with Nari Contractor. Then  then he was forgotten for six years before being brought back for the Test at Calcutta against England in 1961-62.  Maninder had a very bright start, went to oblivion but took 7 wickets in his last Test match ! 


 The master batsman Sachin Tendulkar holds so many records and amongst them is the youngest player to play in Tests for India.  Sachin debuted at Karachi in Test 1127 under the Captainship of Krish Srikkanth and was just 16 Y 205 days.   Mehra’s record was broken by Maninder after 27 years and was broken in a few months by Laxman Sivaramakrishnan who debuted at St Johns on 28.4.1983 against fearsome battery of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Winston Davis and Malcolm Marshall – Siva was just 17y 118 days old at that time.  

Today Aayan Khan was named in UAE's   XI against Netherlands in Geelong, the Goa-born teenager broke Mohammad Amir's record and became the youngest to play in the men's T20 World Cup. He was just 16-years-and-335-days old. It wasn't the perfect debut Aayan may have hoped for, but one that he and the UAE team will learn a lot from, especially after giving Netherlands a huge scare during their chase of 112.


Aayan is primarily a batting allrounder, but the presence of more established players pushed him down to No. 8. When he eventually took strike with nine balls to go, he had to give a stumbling innings some impetus; UAE had slipped from 91 for 2 to 104 for 6. Aayan managed five off seven balls and was dismissed off the penultimate delivery of the innings, trying to back away and carve one over extra cover. . Aayan finished with figures of 3-0-15-1. 

It was only Aayan's third T20I, having made his debut during Bangladesh's tour of the UAE in September this year. And CP Rizwan, his captain, believes Aayan can go a long way.   Aayan Khan hit 93, and was the Player of the Match against West Indies in this year's Under-19 World Cup.   Aayan had moved to the UAE at the age of two in 2007. He idolises Hardik Pandya, and was inspired to play cricket when he watched India lift the 2011 World Cup.  His father played club cricket in Goa.    

So there are some who represent Nation at ages where their mates would be carrying school books and bags.


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
16th Oct 2022. 

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