Naseem Shah is under the spotlight for allegations he faked his age after playing in the India-Pakistan 2022 Asian Cup clash as a 19-year-old.
Naseem Shah is the center of attention after his terrific new ball spell against arch-rivals India in a Group A clash for the 2022 Asian Cup. The young Pakistani designer lit up the night on Sunday August 28 with a superlative opener, eventually finishing with numbers 2 for 27 from his 4 overs.
Even though Pakistan lost the close encounter in Dubai, they could pull off Shah’s spell as one of their main bright spots heading into the tournament.
After such an encouraging spell on his T20I debut, the conversation about Naseem Shah should have revolved entirely around his exploits on the pitch alone. But the Pakistani fashion designer is the subject of intense scrutiny off the pitch after allegations of age abuse against him.
The 19-year-old speedster is under fire for allegations of registering with the incorrect age after a backdated tweet posted about him resurfaced on Twitter following the India-Pakistan encounter.
Naseem Shah faces age abuse charges
The tweet was posted by Pakistani journalist Saj Sadiq, who had informed of a back injury the pacer suffered prior to his 2019 PSL stint with the Quetta Gladiators. In the tweet, which is four years old, Sadiq mentions Naseem Shah as a 17-year-old fast bowler, making it curious how he is playing the current Asian Cup at 19.
Naseem Shah was 17 in 2018. But now in 2022 he is only 19 😯👏 pic.twitter.com/OQSS3cwjm7
— Trueshil (@rushilthefirst) August 29, 2022
It’s a great prospect. But I’m 16 now, aging backwards I think https://t.co/frlg06ZIFk
—Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) November 22, 2019
Two years after Sadiq mentioned Naseem Shah as a 17-year-old cricketer, he became the youngest rapid in Test cricket history to score a hat-trick against Bangladesh at Rawalpindi. Amazingly, Shah entered this game as a 16-year-old cricketer, which is impossible if the Pakistani journalist’s tweet was true.
How could Naseem Shah be 16 years and 279 days old when he scored his hat-trick in February 2020 and be 17 two years earlier when he was injured in December 2018 ahead of PSL 2019?
Look: Virat Kohli presents Haris Rauf with a signed Indian jersey after the 2022 Asian Cup match
Another strong hint that Shah had potentially rigged his way through his national career came a month before Rawalpindi’s test match, when he was kicked out of the U-19 World Cup in South Africa by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Suspicious of claims that Shah broke the rules after failing to determine his exact age, PCB removed Shah from participating in the 50-year-old Junior World Cup that year.
“Sources have said that PCB doctors in their reports cannot determine Shah’s exact date of birth as they are of the opinion that no reliable scientific means are available to determine that if any international sports body does not recognize the bone test as an authentic parameter to decide the age of any player.”, reported The Dawn at the time.