Home > Features > Moments in history >

Alimuddin makes his debut at 12 in First-Class cricket!

Alimuddin-(left)-and-Hanif-Mohammad-are-the-opening-bats-for-Pakistan,-playing1
Alimuddin © Getty Images

Alimuddin became the youngest First-Class debutant on February 26, 1943. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at the day when a boy had walked out to rub shoulders with men.

You are not supposed to play First-Class cricket at 12 years and 73 days. You simply are not supposed to.

Just think what might have gone through the Ajmer-born Alimiddin’s mind when he was picked to play for Rajputana at that age! His classmates had probably still not migrated from visiting the zoo to staring at girls; and there he was, thrust into the arena at Maharaja Pratapsingh Coronation Gymkhana in Baroda in a Ranji Trophy semi-final, no less!

Baroda used to be an extremely strong side those days: they already had an all-time great in the form of Vijay Hazare; they also had the likes of Hemu Adhikari and CS Nayudu in their ranks, and the star brothers, Vivek Hazare and Raosaheb Nimbalkar, which made them one of the strongest sides of the tournament.

The record and the baptism

Things might have been easier for the kid had his side got to field first, but when Narsingrao Kesari came back to the pavilion and told his team that they were batting first, he realised that he would not even have the time to settle down. As Raghbir Singh and Asad Wahab walked out to bat, poor Alimuddin waited, padded-up, ready to go first-down. Little did he know that the moment the toss had been made, he had become the youngest ever First-Class cricketer — a record that still stands.

The team score was on one when Vijay Hazare found Wahab’s edge and the ball landed peacefully into Nimbalkar’s gloves. Alimuddin, not even a teenager, too young for facial hair, walked out in flannels and cricket boots to take on Baroda in their own den.

The second-wicket partnership lasted only 20 runs, but Raghvir and Alimuddin were obdurate enough to see off Vijay Hazare and Paul Carey. Vijay introduced his brother Vivek, and eventually fell back to spin, bringing on CS Nayudu — the giant of Indian domestic cricket.

Nayudu removed both batsmen in quick intervals: Raghvir was bowled for ten, and Alimuddin holed out to Mutyalswami Naidu for 13. Little did anyone realise that Alimuddin’s score was going to be the highest for Rajputana: Nayudu finished with 10-2-20-5, while Vijay Hazare came back to join him, returning figures of 14.2-4-17-4. Rajputana were routed for a paltry 54 in 36.2 overs.

Left high and dry

To everyone’s surprise Rajputana hit back hard: while Masoom Ali Khan removed both openers (Nimbalkar and Yacoob Sheikh), Kesari himself accounted for Adhikari, and suddenly, Baroda found themselves reeling at 23 for three. Vijay Hazare tried to put up a resistance with Naidu when Kesari threw the ball to young Alimuddin.

Alimuddin had managed to keep Hazare out, but it did not happen the other way round: sure enough, the leg-spinner, still in his teens, found the great man’s edge; Raghvir took the catch, and Hazare had to depart: 67 for four.

Thereafter, it all went horribly wrong for Rajputana: both Naidu and Nayudu made career-best scores, adding 239 in 170 minutes for the fifth wicket, before Nayudu was bowled by Masoom Ali for 127; Naidu fell a single run short of his 200, and Wyankatrao Ghorpade joined in the fun too, scoring 97.

Baroda were eventually bowled out for 543 on the third morning with a whopping 489-run lead. This time Raghvir (28) and Wahab (24) added 54 for the first stand, and once again Alimuddin fought gamely against Nayudu’s wiles. However, there was little support from No 4 onwards, and Alimuddin’s 27 (the second-highest score of the innings) went in vain.

Rajputana were bowled out for 133 in 53.1 overs on Day Three: Nayudu finished with figures of seven for 36 and match figures of 30.1-4-56-12. The innings-and-356-run defeat was as comprehensive as it could get, but despite the crushing defeat, Alimuddin had his name etched in history forever.

What followed?

- CS Nayudu picked up six for 60 and five for 21 in the final at Secunderabad, where Baroda thrashed Hyderabad by 307 runs to clinch the Ranji Trophy. Nayudu finished that season’s Ranji Trophy with 40 wickets from four matches.

- Alimuddin went on to represent Pakistan in 25 Tests, scoring 1,091 runs at 25.37 with two hundreds. His brothers Salimuddin and Azimuddin also played First-Class cricket.

Brief scores:

Rajputana 54 (Alimuddin 13; CS Nayudu 5 for 20, Vijay Hazare 4 for 17) & 133 (Raghbir Singh 28; CS Nayudu 7 for 36) lost to Baroda 543 (Mutyalswami Naidu 199, CS Nayudu 127, Wyankatrao Ghorpade 97, Mahipatrao Indulkar 42; Masoom Ali Khan 4 for 143) by an innings and 356 runs.

 (Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (08:50 IST)   at Sydney

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Chittagong

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Melbourne

Australia won by 3 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 20, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled(Match rescheduled to 21/11/2014)

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Live Cricket Score Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Zimbabwe make comeback with quick wickets

Live Cricket Score Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15 Odisha vs Punjab Semi-Final 2: Punjab win by 7 wickets, reach final

Live Cricket Score Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15 Bengal vs Karnataka Semi-Final 1: Bengal lose Arindam Das after openers post 50

Live Cricket Score Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Shane Watson dismissed on 82

India vs Australia 2014: How crucial are India’s practice games ahead of the first Test?

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Punjab beat Odisha by 7 wickets, in finals

Virat Kohli: Ready for captaincy challenge in 1st Test against Australia

Australia vs South Africa 2014: Shane Watson scores his 31st ODI half-century

Bangladesh squander record stand to reach 251 for 7 against Zimbabwe in 2nd ODI at Chittagong

Australia vs South Africa 2014: Aaron Finch dismissed next ball after putting up 100-run partnership with Shane Watson

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

ICC World Cup 2015: Australia in risk of overkill

Is Dhawal Kulkarni a contender for India’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

World Cup 1992: Arjuna Ranatunga masterminds first ever 300-plus ODI chase

India vs Australia 2014: How crucial are India’s practice games ahead of the first Test?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here