Sharjah: Off-spinner Mujeeb Zadran became the first international male cricketer born in the 21st century as his four wickets helped Afghanistan thrash Ireland by 138 runs in the first one-day international at Sharjah on Tuesday.
Born on March 28, 2001, the 16-year-old’s 4-24 were the joint-best figures for an Afghanistan bowler on ODI debut as Ireland were bowled out for only 100 in pursuit of 239.
Afghanistan’s biggest win over Ireland gives them a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, with the remaining matches also in Sharjah on December 7 and 10.
According to the report published in CricTracker, the off-spinner rated as the second best bowler in Youth ODI cricket.
On basis of his consistent performances, he was called for Afghanistan’s three-match ODI series against Ireland in UAE. Thus, Mujeeb Zadran became the first male player born in the 21st century for playing International cricket.
It may be mentioned that the first cricketer of the 20th century was South Africa’s Buster Nupen who was born on 1st January 1902 in Norway. Mujeeb became the 9th youngest to play international cricket. He is the youngest ever from Afghanistan to start his international cricket career.
He broke the record of Naveen-ul-Haq, captain of Afghanistan U19 team who started playing international cricket at the age of 17 years.
Besides Mujeeb, there are already four women cricketers playing international cricket who was born in the 21st century. Ireland women’s all-rounder Gaby Lewis became the first international cricketer born in this millennium when she made her Twenty20 international debut against South Africa at Solihull, England in 2014. Others are Lara Maritz, born on 7th January 2001, Louise Little, born on 16th May 2003 and Qiana Joseph, born on 1st January 2001. Lara Maritz and Louise Little are from Ireland whereas Qiana Joseph hails from Windies.
It may be noted that Qiana Joseph became the first cricketer born in the 21st Century who played in World Cup after she participated in Women’s World Cup.