Most of the cricketers are generally playing junior cricket when they are 18-year old, but some of them are talented or lucky enough to get an opportunity to make their senior international debut even before they cross the age of 18.
And, a lot of those cricketers, who played international cricket before the age of 18, actually went on to have long and illustrious international careers. They didn’t just prove to be a flash in the pan.
Here is the all time ODI XI of players who made their debut before the age of 18 –
Openers (Sachin Tendulkar, Tamim Iqbal)
Sachin Tendulkar was just 16-year old when he walked out to play his first One Day International game against Pakistan at Gujranwala on 18th December, 1989. The master blaster had a horrible start to his ODI career as he scored a duck and was dismissed on the second ball of his innings by Waqar Younis.
Tamim Iqbal made his ODI debut when he was 17. It was an ODI against Zimbabwe where Bangladesh batted first and Tamim, who opened the innings, lost his wicket at the score of just 5.
Middle order (Parthiv Patel, Shoaib Malik, Javed Miandad)
Parthiv, Malik and Miandad, all three of them were 17-year old when they played their first ODI for their respective teams.
Parthiv was handed his first ODI cap on India’s tour of New Zealand in 2002. The left-hander was up against a very skillful bowling attack of the Kiwis on an extremely tricky batting surface and although he fought hard, he could score just 13 runs off 35 balls with one boundary.
Shoaib Malik didn’t even get an opportunity to bat on his ODI debut against West Indies in 1999. He played that game as a specialist off spinner and was slotted to bat at no. 10. He got a couple of wickets with the ball though.
Miandad played his first ODI match in the first ever ODI World Cup of 1975 against West Indies. He batted at no. 6 and scored 24 runs off 36 balls with two boundaries before getting run out.
All-rounders (Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq)
The Pakistani selectors picked two teenaged all-rounders Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq to play for the senior team of Pakistan in 1996. Both were 16 years of age at that point of time and were raw talent.
Afridi made his ODI debut in October 1996 against Kenya, while Razzaq made his ODI debut a month later against Zimbabwe.
Neither Afridi nor Razzaq batted in the first ODI that they played. While Razzaq got a couple of wickets with the ball, Afridi remained wicketless giving away 32 runs in his 10 overs.
Bowlers (Harbhajan Singh, Rashid Khan, Chetan Sharma, Mohammad Amir)
Harbhajan, Rashid Khan, Chetan Sharma and Amir, all of them got the opportunity to play One Day International cricket for the first time at the age of 17.
Harbhajan returned the figures of 1 for 32 in his first ODI against New Zealand in 1998. Rashid’s start to his ODI career was somewhat similar to Harbhajan as he also got just one wicket on his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in 2015.
Chetan Sharma got three wickets in his first limited-over international match in 1983. He was up against the mighty batting line-up of West Indies, but he still bowled decently and managed to dismiss batsmen like Desmond Haynes and Roger Harper.
Mohammad Amir showed his ability to swing the new ball at pace in his very first ODI against Sri Lanka in 2009. The southpaw finished with the figures of 3 for 45.