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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • D on April 28, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    "Gibson had to get permission off his school to play in the match"?


    Come on. Get it right. It's "off of".

  • Rajeev on April 28, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    After seeing the headline, I thought England had found an aggressive young batsmen, who made a century on debut. But really felt bad when i realized that he is now just a wicket keeper.

    How good for cricket lovers, if one of the test playing nations produces an young(16-17yrs old) and dynamic batsmen like SACHIN before he retires. I still feel that Virat Kohli is perfect replacement for Sachin, so Indians does't need to worry about that.

  • Chris on April 28, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    @InsideHedge; I was not making out that it isn't a great achievement - it is. However the implication in the comment about him playing for the Under14s when he was 13 being somehow remarkable and worthy of note really isn't, is it?

  • Dummy4 on April 28, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    @DeemiZafar: Yup, X-Ray estimated are rubbish, I broke my wrist when I was 16 and according to the doctor I had the wrist of a 21 year-old.

  • Andrew on April 27, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    @InsideHedge - I agree, its an amazing achievement. Wonder where to after this game for the lad? Time is on his side I suppose! LOL!

  • Nadeem on April 27, 2011, 23:06 GMT

    @Alex Spurge: Hassan Raza, our neighbour, was born on the same day as my son. His age is correct. PCB never withdrew his age or the record. They merely investigated it radiologically. Being a physician (and the son & brother of radiologists) I know for a fact that x-ray estimates are just that - estimates. No more.

  • peter on April 27, 2011, 22:39 GMT

    Not sure who the youngest fc debutant is but Ahmed Mustafa scored a fc century in 1957 allegedly @ 13y219d. Mushtaq Mohammed took 5 wkts at the age of 13y41d and Majid Khan scored a ton & took 5wi in the same match at the age of 15y 46d. All Pakistani dob's are viewed a bit dubiously (similarly Bangladeshi Mohd Sharif took 5wi at the age of 14y361d). A more relaible dob exists for Dhruv Pandove who scored a ton at the age of 14y294d. Pandove died in a car accident aged 18y22d - probably the youngest fc cricketer to die.

  • Sanjay on April 27, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    It's typical of some ppl to come on here and make out that it's NOT a big deal. It's just that, the kid's just 15 and some days, a fantastic achievement. Well done.

    And don't forget he turned out for Yorkshire, they may not be the great team of the past and the match is being played out against a university team but you're not going to make their 1st team unless you cut the mustard.

    I doubt very much Yorkshire picked him to break a record, he's there on merit.

  • Chris on April 27, 2011, 21:09 GMT

    @MostCulturedAussieLesPatterson - most kids playing in an under-14 side will be 13. If he had been playing as an 11-year old then it might have been worth remarking on...

  • Dummy4 on April 27, 2011, 20:30 GMT

    @Manasvi: I'm on about the mens game ;) Raza was likely nearer 17 when he made his first-class debut, the PCB had to withdraw their claim he was 14.

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