Monday, 10 June 2013

Young man's game

At Scarborough yesterday, Yorkshire seam bowler Matthew Fisher became only the third fifteen year old to have played first class cricket.

In 2008, fifteen year old Barnsley winger Reuben Noble-Lazarus became the youngest player to turn out for a Football League team and left-hander Joe Nuxhall was also that age when he first pitched for the Cincinnati Reds in 1944, still a Major League Baseball record. In contact sports like rugby and American football, the youngest ever players are, as you'd expect, a bit older, in the 18-20 age range.

Twelve seems to be the youngest age anyone has competed at the top level of a sport - in golf and chess - and there have also been one or two fourteen year old tennis players. At the other end of the scale, I doubt we'll ever again see a fifty year old professional footballer like Stanley Matthews or a fifty-two year old Test cricketer like Wilfred Rhodes.

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