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Teenager Hameed to make England debut

Teenage prodigy Haseeb Hameed will make his England debut against India in the opening Test in Rajkot on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old opener is coming off the back of a mightily impressive season for Lancashire, with 1,129 runs at 52 in the County Championship, and will replace the struggling Gary Ballance at the top of the order.

Hameed will become just the second teenager to play Test cricket for England in 67 years; Ben Holliaoke appeared against Australia in 1997 at the same age, the only other teen to do so since 18-year-old Brian Close’s debut in 1949.

“We have all been impressed with the way Haseeb has gone about his business on this tour,” said captain Alastair Cook.

“You wonder about picking a guy at 19, whether he might be overawed, but he hasn’t been at all. He has developed so quickly, he’s one of those natural run scorers.

“It’s an unfortunate decision on Gary, he hasn’t scored the runs he would have liked.

“It’s given someone else an opportunity and it’s a very exciting day for a young guy who has impressed everyone so far on this trip.

“He should be very proud and hopefully will do well.”

Prodigy: Hameed bagged 1,198 First Class runs for Lancashire in 2016 (Pic: Getty)

Prodigy: Hameed bagged 1,191 First Class runs for Lancashire in 2016 (Pic: Getty)

Hameed was called up to the squad for the Bangladesh tour but did not appear in the 1-1 series draw.

The youngster’s selection means Ben Duckett, who opened with Cook in Bangladesh, drops down the order to four.

“It’s not ideal to have two games at the top and change but he’s a pretty unflappable character,” said Cook.

“Historically he’s been a middle-order batsman so will be comfortable there, but it’s never ideal to chop and change.”

 

 

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