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16-year old Nitish, youngest on World Cup debut


Posted: Feb 28, 2011 at 1023 hrs IST

Nagpur: Canada's 16-year old schoolboy Nitish Kumar on Monday became the youngest cricketer to make his World Cup debut when he was drafted into the playing XI against Zimbabwe in a group match here.

Nicknamed 'Tendulkar', Nitish was born in May, 1994, four and half years after Sachin Tendulkar's international debut against Pakistan in 1989.

Interestingly, Nitish will open the innings with the oldest player of the World Cup, 40-year-old John Davison who is playing his third World Cup.

Canada now has the oldest and youngest player in the tournament with their difference of age being 24 years.

"The first time I saw Nitish was 10 years back when he was only six. I was amazed to see a six-year-old's control over his shots. Even at that age, he could hit pull shots and I felt he was a special talent," Davison, the team's best player had said about Nitish on the eve of the match.

Asked about how fascinating it will be to open the batting with someone who is two and half decades younger than him, Davison replied in jest, "We balance out the average age of the team."

Nitish plays for Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club which has the best turf wickets in the country. In fact, India and Pakistan used to have their annual ODI series Sahara Cup, at that very club ground during the mid-90's.

Before Nitish, the youngest player to debut in a World Cup was Ireland's George Dockrell at 18 years and 213 days.

Nitish has so far played five ODIs for Canada and made his debut against Afghanistan.

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