16-year old Nitish, youngest to make his World Cup debut

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Kushan Sarkar

Nagpur, Feb 28 (PTI) Canada''s 16-year old schoolboyNitish Kumar today became the youngest cricketer to make hisWorld Cup debut when he was drafted into the playing XIagainst Zimbabwe in a group match here.

Nicknamed ''Tendulkar'', Nitish was born in May, 1994, fourand half years after Sachin Tendulkar''s international debutagainst Pakistan in 1989.

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

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

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

Asked about how fascinating it will be to open thebatting with someone who is two and half decades younger thanhim, Davison replied in jest, "We balance out the average ageof the team."

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

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

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

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