County news April 27, 2011

Fifteen-year-old sets English record

ESPNcricinfo staff

Wicketkeeper Barney Gibson became the youngest person to play first-class cricket in England after he made his Yorkshire debut aged 15 years and 27 days against Durham University to break a 144-year-old record.

Gibson, who only turned 15 on March 31, was given his chance after Jonathan Bairstow and Gerard Brophy, the two first-choice glovemen, were rested following a busy start to the domestic season. His first over behind the stumps in professional cricket was sent down by England paceman Ajmal Shahzad and he didn't have to wait long for his first catch which came off Oliver Hannon-Dalby.

When he took the field it was already clear he'd set a new Yorkshire record which previously belonged to Paul Jarvis but during the day it emerged Gibson had surpassed Charles Young, who played for Hampshire aged 15 years and 131 days in 1867. Gibson had to get permission off his school to play in the match, but admitted he didn't mind skipping class.

"They have to give me permission to play - but it was probably a good day to avoid," he told the Bradford Telegraph and Argus. "I was supposed to have triple science, double Maths and RE. They have sent me up here with some homework to do though."

Martyn Moxon, the Yorkshire coach, said that despite his age Gibson, who also represented the Under-14 side, fully justified his position. "We like to give our young players a chance but they have to be good enough and Barney's proved he is good enough at this moment in time," Moxon told Sky Sports News.

"His first catch today was outstanding and would have been a good catch for a keeper of any age He'll not have kept to that kind of pace very much, but he's not fazed by the occasion or the publicity he's now getting. For someone so young he's very level-headed he knows what he needs to do."