Doubts raised over Hasan's Test record

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The Independent Online
Doubt has been raised about Hasan Raza's claim to be the youngest Test cricketer.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said yesterday that medical tests had shown Hasan was "around 15" when he underwent the examination in June.

Hasan claimed he was 14 years and 227 days old when he made his Test debut against Zimbabwe in Faisalabad last week. That beat the existing record established by the Pakistan team manager, Mushtaq Muhammad, who made his debut aged 15 years and 124 days against West Indies in the 1958- 59 season.

The PCB released a radiology report yesterday prepared by Lahore's Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital. It revealed that an X-ray of the Karachi-born youngster's left wrist indicated he was around 15 years on the date of the test on 13 June.

A similar report on another Pakistani youngster, Shahid Afridi, who hit the fastest one-day international century off only 37 balls against Sri Lanka in Kenya earlier this month, showed him to be 19 instead of 16 as claimed.

Both Hasan and Shahid underwent the tests with several other players because they did not have birth certificates.

Raza's X-ray was conducted before the selection of the Pakistan team for the under-15 World Cup in England. Afridi underwent his test before going to West Indies with the Pakistan under-19 squad in August.

The PCB's chief executive, Majid Khan, said the board did not acknowledge the ages given by Hasan and Shahid and would stand by the radiologist's report.

Both have been included in a squad of 12 for the first of the three limited- over internationals against Zimbabwe at Quetta on Wednesday.

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