ICC, on Thursday, alongside announcing the new rules for Test Championship and postponement of 2022 Women’s T20 World Cup has announced that the minimum age to play cricket is set at 15. However, there is an exception for the associate nations, who can field under-15 players with permission.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced a new set of rules pertaining to the age restriction for youngsters to make their first appearance at the highest level. While earlier there were no such rules set in play, on Thursday, ICC said that only players above the age of 15 would be allowed to play International cricket across age-group cricket, be it Men’s, Women’s or U-19 cricket.
Pakistan’s Hasan Raza made records when he made his debut at the age of 14, representing the Asian side in seven Tests and 16 ODIs from 1996 to 2005. However, now, under the new rules, the batsman would have had to wait for his opportunity until he turned 15.
“The Board confirmed the introduction of minimum age restrictions for international cricket to improve safeguarding of players which will apply across all cricket including ICC events, bilateral cricket and U19 cricket. To play in any form of men’s, women’s or U19 international cricket players must now be a minimum age of 15,” ICC said in a release.
However, the rules allow for a slight change, if the Member board could apply to ICC, asking them to allow a player under the age of 15 to play for them. It is to ensure that the young players could cope with the demands and the pressure of international cricket, which would not hamper their career later.
“In case of exceptional circumstances, a Member Board could apply to the ICC to allow a player under the age of 15 to play for them. This could include where the player’s playing experience and mental development and wellbeing demonstrates that they would be capable of coping with the demands of international cricket,” it added.