Teenage opener Haseeb Hameed says he will be realising a childhood dream when he makes his England Test debut against India on Wednesday.
Lancashire batsman Hameed, 19, has been chosen as Alastair Cook’s latest opening partner for the first Test in Rajkot.
He will become only the second teenager to play Test cricket for England since 1949.
“Even at the age of nine I believed I would make it for England,” he said.
“I guess a lot of things are meant to be and the fact it is here against India, in my parents’ home state, the way it has fallen into place is amazing.”
Hameed, who scored 1,129 runs at an average of 52 in County Championship Division One this summer, was called up for the Test tour of Bangladesh in October but did not play in the 1-1 series draw.
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Instead, he will be making his debut against the team ranked number one in the world.
“It’s nothing to be afraid of,” added Hameed.
“I’m 19, coming up against the best bowler in the world and the best team in the world.
“It will be a great experience, and I’m sure at the end of the tour I’ll be a better player either way.”
‘If you are good enough, you are old enough’
Hameed is nicknamed “Baby Boycott”, because his batting technique and ability to play lengthy innings has been likened to that of the legendary Geoffrey Boycott.
“I have heard about his nickname,” Boycott told BBC Sport.
“People say he has a good technique, a very good temperament, he likes batting a long time and that will be a first for England, at the moment, there is only Alastair Cook that does that. The rest of them play crash, bang, wallop and we are three down in no time.
“He’s 19. When I was 19 I was lucky to get in the Yorkshire second team. It is a big ask but you have to start somewhere and if you are good enough, you are old enough. This kid can play.
“He will be nervous, I hope so, because if he is not nervous he will be a fool.”
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/37907104