Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Zadran is a 16-year-old off-spinner from Afghanistan and he has become the first male cricketer born in the 21st century to play on the International stage. He was born in Khost, Afghanistan on March 28, 2001. With his debut against Ireland, Mujeeb became the ninth-youngest to make his debut in ODI cricket and is also the youngest to feature for Afghanistan. And, as it turned out, it was quite some debut for the teenager as he took four wickets to help Afghanistan thrash Ireland by 138 runs in Sharjah, UAE. With this impressive win, Afghanistan took 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Zadran at the end of the match had figures of 4-24! It was the best joint-figure for an Afghan bowler on ODI debut. The other Afghanistan bowler to achieve this feat was Shapoor Zadran against Netherlands in Amstelveen in August 2009.
Notably, the first four batsmen of Ireland had fallen prey to Mujeeb’s talent as he sent Paul Stirling, Balbrinie, Gary Wilson and Kevin O’Brien back to the pavilion to demolish Ireland – they were eventually dismissed for 100 in 31.4 overs. Afghanistan had set a target of 239 runs. The off-spinner also becomes the youngest bowler in ODI history to take 4 wickets in an innings. Bangladesh’s Talha Jubair was the previous record holder.
Well, interestingly it is not the first time the 16-year-old off-spinner made the headlines. He has been doing this for past couple of months with his formidable bowling for Afghanistan’s Under-19 side. Mujeeb recorded the second-best bowling figures in the Youth ODI cricket with 7/19 against Bangladesh and with it became the first player with two 6-wicket hauls in Youth ODI. He also became the second player with three five-wicket hauls in Under-19 team after he starred in Afghanistan’s Under 19 Asia Cup victory in Malaysia where he had a six-wicket and 5-wicket hauls to his credit against Pakistan.