Flashback: The second-oldest debutant in Test history

Breaking into the national squad is one of the hardest, yet most satisfying feelings for any cricketer, especially in the longest format of the game. While every young cricketer dreams of playing their trade for the national team in red-ball cricket, sometimes it takes a while for them to get their due in the traditional format of the game.

Pakistan’s Miran Bakhsh, who made his Test debut at the ripe age of 47 years and 284 days, the second oldest player to make his debut in Tests, was born on this very day in 1907. Hailing from Rawalpindi, Miran Bakhsh was a late bloomer as he made his first-class debut, representing Commander-in-Chief’s Eleven at the age of 43.

Five years later, he became the 21st player to represent Pakistan in the longest format of the game, when he made his debut for the national team against arch-rivals India at the age of 47, becoming the second oldest Test debutant behind England’s James Southerton.

A surprising debut

Playing his last season at the first-class level, Miran tried his off-spin at the highest level against India’s third Test in Lahore. Despite his age, the tall off-spinner gave a great account of himself in the second innings, helping the home side restrict Vinoo Mankad’s side to 251 runs. The 47-year-old bowled a staggering 48 overs in that innings which included 20 maiden overs.

Indian opener Pananmal Punjabi became his first victim in Test cricket while star Indian batter Vijay Manjrekar was cleaned up by him for a duck. The match eventually fizzled out in a draw as the elderly bowler wasn’t handed the opportunity to bowl in the second innings.  He failed to pick a wicket in the following Test against the same opposition, ending his Test career with just two wickets to his name.

He passed away on February 8, 1991, at the age of 83 in his hometown Rawalpindi.