Canada opener Nitish Kumar became the youngest player to play in the Cricket World Cup, but had little to celebrate other than the milestone as Canada lost to Zimbabwe by 175 runs on Monday.
The Toronto batsman, who took to the field for his team’s Group A match against Zimbabwe at just 16 years 283 days, watched his opponents rack up 298-9 off their 50 overs at Nagpur’s VCA Stadium.
He then opened the batting alongside John Davison but the 40-year-old veteran fell without scoring in the second over and Kumar lasted only 10 balls before he was caught and bowled by spinner Ray Price for one run.
“He’s, obviously, shown a bit of talent but there’s a long way to go in his development,” Canada captain Ashish Bagai said. “Saying that, probably the reason he was in was that other people in the team weren’t performing.
“He got his opportunity and he didn’t take it. But there’s a bit of talent there so, hopefully, we’ll persist with that through the years.”
The oldest player at this year’s tournament, Davison used to play club cricket with Kumar’s father and first saw his teammate bat at just six years old.
But Canada’s hope that Kumar would strengthen the batting after a 210-run opening loss to Sri Lanka was thwarted, leaving Kumar only with his record.
Kumar comfortably beat the previous mark, set when Bangladesh’s Talha Jubair played against the West Indies in 2003 at 17 years, 70 days, and will want to better Jubair’s achievements in the game.
Highly thought of at the start of his career, the allrounder never lived up to expectations and played the last of his six one-day internationals in December 2004.
Canada has four more group matches left —against Pakistan, Kenya, defending champion Australia and New Zealand.
“We’re going to need to find a way to get through those four games,” Bagai said. “We’re not going to lie down and take it.”