Hasan Raza is a Pakistani cricketer, and is regarded as the youngest player to make his international debut. He raised eyeballs around the cricket fraternity when Pakistan handed him a debut at an age of just 14 years and 227 days.
Raza was born on 11 March 1982 in Karachi, Pakistan. He made his domestic debut in 1996 and his supreme talent pushed him to national team reckoning in the same year.
Raza showed immaculate technique and skill in the domestic circuit that led to his premature selection for national duties. He made his test debut against Zimbabwe in October 1996 in Faisalabad. He showed glimpses of his calibre before getting out for 28.
Questions were raised about the authenticity of the claim that Raza’s debut came when he was 14. He made ODI debut in the same tour a few days later in Quetta. He made just 11 runs in his maiden ODI.
Rise to Glory
Raza did not get enough opportunities to prove his worth. His performances were on the rise when his international career was halted. He made crucial contributions in 1999 Coca Cola Cup where he scored a career best 77 against Windies.
He got a second chance in Test cricket in 2002 and he grabbed it with both hands as he made half centuries in both the innings against Australia. However, selectors showed no mercy as he was again discarded after a string of poor scores.
Most of Raza’s success is at the domestic level where he has over 40 centuries to his name.
Raza’s was the case of bursting to spotlight too early. The youngster did reasonably well in the chances he got but high expectations from an innocuous sensation resulted in below par scores and eventual exclusion from the team.
He hoped to revive his career by playing in the currently defunct Indian Cricket League. But the league was not sanctioned under BCCI and deemed a bogus event few years after its formation. Raza lost his last chance to return to selectors’ attention.
Despite his international failures, Raza has had an accomplished domestic career. He has played over 200 first class games for various outfits. He currently represents Pakistan Television cricket team but had a long stint with Habib Bank Limited cricket team.
Raza played seven Tests and 14 ODIs for Pakistan in a stop-start career. Unfortunately, he failed to live up to the hype generated during his entry to international cricket and averaged a paltry 18.6 in ODIs and 26.11 in Tests.