Hobart Hurricanes vs Melbourne Renegades, Noor Ahmad, cricket news


Australian cricket fans got their first glimpse of 15-year-old phenom Noor Ahmad during Saturday afternoon’s fixture between the Melbourne Renegades and the Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena.

But Renegades wicketkeeper Sam Harper has predicted the Afghan teenager could become a dangerous weapon when he plays under lights in the Big Bash League.

Ahmad claimed 1/27 during an impressive four-over spell in Hobart, removing Hurricanes skipper Peter Handscomb for his maiden BBL scalp.

But it wasn’t enough to prevent a Renegades loss, with the hosts chasing the 158-run target with 14 balls to spare.

At 15 years and 351 days, Ahmad is comfortably the youngest cricketer to feature in the T20 tournament. The previous youngest was Afghanistan’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who debuted for the Brisbane Heat at 17 years and 266 days.

Renegades teammates Shaun Marsh was already five years into his professional career at the time of Ahmad’s birth in 2005.

Speaking to reporters after the defeat, Harper compared the young spin bowler to Adelaide Strikers superstar Rashid Khan, who is renowned for performing at his best during evening fixtures.

“I had a keep to (Ahmad) yesterday for half an hour to try and pick him,” Harper said.

“I think it’ll be interesting once we start playing at night and getting under the lights. Chatting to people about Rashid, they’ve found him easier during the day, so hopefully for us, that’s the case (with Ahmad).

“I felt like I could pick him pretty well today, but I could see the seam, so that’s where the challenge of keeping in the night-time and then batting to him in the night-time comes in.

“Any time you can get your hands on a mystery spinner who spins the ball both ways, I’ll take that. It doesn’t matter how much English he’s got.”

Ahmad was potentially robbed of a second wicket after he trapped South African international Colin Ingram on the pads in the eighth over.

Unfortunately, the on-field umpire opted not to raise the finger, and Hawkeye replays suggested the ball would have crashed into leg stump.

Ahmad has played 16 T20 games since his professional debut in October 2019, claiming 20 wickets at 21.70.

For their next fixture, the Renegades will face the Sydney Thunder at Canberra’s Manuka Oval on Boxing Day.



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Noor Ahmad, 15-year-old, teenager, umpiring controversy, Hurricanes beat Renegades


Noor Ahmad made history before he’d even bowled his first ball and the attention only intensified on the youngster as he arrived in the Big Bash League.

At 15, the Afghanistan-born spinner became the youngest person to ever play a BBL game, taking the field for the Melbourne Renegades in their six-wicket loss to the Hobart Hurricanes.

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Ahmad was the last bowler brought into the attack as the Renegades tried to defend their total of 5/157 and didn’t take long to have an impact. He had Peter Handscomb caught in the deep in his second over, making him the youngest person to ever claim a wicket in the men’s BBL.

The left-arm wrist spinner thought he was in the game again later in the over. Ahmad went up for a huge LBW appeal, thinking he’d trapped Colin Ingram in front of his stumps with a wrong’un first ball.

Wicketkeeper Sam Harper was pleading with the umpire, as was Shaun Marsh at first slip, but the umpire kept his finger down.

Replays showed Ahmad may have been dudded a second scalp in what would have been an incredible debut, Hawkeye predicting the ball would have crashed into the stumps.

There’s no Decision Review System in the BBL so the Renegades just had to cop the rough call on the chin.

Ahmad will have to wait a little longer to taste his first BBL victory after a batting masterclass from Ben McDermott guided the Hurricanes to victory.

Arriving at the crease after Josh Lalor bowled D’Arcy Short with the third ball of the innings, McDermott blasted a brilliant 89 not out from 55 balls to ensure his team chased down the total with 14 balls to spare.

Earlier, the Renegades slumped to 2/4 before Harper (66 not out from 52 balls) and South African Rilee Rossouw (59) launched a rescue mission that saved the innings.



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Renegades sign 15-year old Afghan spinner Noor Ahmad


The Melbourne Renegades are preparing to unleash 15-year-old Afghan spinner Ahmad Noor on the Big Bash after a 12-month scouting mission paid off.

Noor, who was born in 2005 in Kabul, Afghanistan, has signed on for the full season and is likely to play as many games as the new BBL fixture allows before Christmas when South African Imran Tahir will also join the squad.

The left-arm “mystery spinner” has played just one first-class match and 15 T20s in his native Afghanistan as well as representing his country as a 14-year-old in last year’s Under 19 World Cup.

Noor, a wrist-spinner, has been on the radar of the Renegades for more than a year, and he will arrive in time to take his place in the season opener, which is set to be delayed at least a week from the original start date of December 3.

“Noor is someone we have kept tabs on for over a year,” Renegades coach Michael Klinger said.

“He’s someone who not many people have seen, which I think is a huge advantage to us, and he’s a player coming out on a mission to really put his name up in front of the world.

“He spins the ball both ways … we are really excited to have him.”

Noor will follow in the footsteps of fellow Afghan spin wizard Rashid Khan, the number one ranked T20 bowler in the world.

His countryman Mohammad Nabi, who will again play with the Renegades this season, said the teenager was “exciting”.

“The Renegades fans and followers of the Big Bash may not know much about Noor at this stage, but I can tell you, he is a very exciting talent who I feel has a big future in the game,” Nabi said.

Social media went in to meltdown last year when Noor was involved in a mankad incident at the Under 19 World Cup against Pakistan when he ran out opener Mohammad Huraira.

After the match, Noor’s Afghanistan captain Farhan Zakhil conceded it was not “in the spirit of the game”.

Tahir, who took 236 wickets in 145 ODI and T20 games for South Africa, will be available for the Renegades from Boxing Day.

The spinning pair will fill two import slots for the Melbourne team, with a decision still to come on a third overseas player to be paid for by Cricket Australia as a marquee signing.

Tahir is playing with the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League and was the competition’s leading wicket taker last year.

“I’ve watched the Big Bash from afar have admired how competitive it is,” Tahir said.

“I’m looking forward to joining my new Renegades teammates and working hard with them to produce a successful season.”



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Big Bash: Renegades sign 15-year old Afghan spinner Noor Ahmad


The Melbourne Renegades are preparing to unleash 15-year-old Afghan spinner Ahmad Noor on the Big Bash after a 12-month scouting mission paid off.

Noor, who was born in 2005 in Kabul, Afghanistan, has signed on for the full season and is likely to play as many games as the new BBL fixture allows before Christmas when South African Imran Tahir will also join the squad.

The left-arm “mystery spinner” has played just one first-class match and 15 T20s in his native Afghanistan as well as representing his country as a 14-year-old in last year’s Under 19 World Cup.

Noor, a wrist-spinner, has been on the radar of the Renegades for more than a year, and he will arrive in time to take his place in the season opener, which is set to be delayed at least a week from the original start date of December 3.

“Noor is someone we have kept tabs on for over a year,” Renegades coach Michael Klinger said.

“He’s someone who not many people have seen, which I think is a huge advantage to us, and he’s a player coming out on a mission to really put his name up in front of the world.

“He spins the ball both ways … we are really excited to have him.”

Noor will follow in the footsteps of fellow Afghan spin wizard Rashid Khan, the number one ranked T20 bowler in the world.

His countryman Mohammad Nabi, who will again play with the Renegades this season, said the teenager was “exciting”.

“The Renegades fans and followers of the Big Bash may not know much about Noor at this stage, but I can tell you, he is a very exciting talent who I feel has a big future in the game,” Nabi said.

Social media went in to meltdown last year when Noor was involved in a mankad incident at the Under 19 World Cup against Pakistan when he ran out opener Mohammad Huraira.

After the match, Noor’s Afghanistan captain Farhan Zakhil conceded it was not “in the spirit of the game”.

Tahir, who took 236 wickets in 145 ODI and T20 games for South Africa, will be available for the Renegades from Boxing Day.

The spinning pair will fill two import slots for the Melbourne team, with a decision still to come on a third overseas player to be paid for by Cricket Australia as a marquee signing.

Tahir is playing with the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League and was the competition’s leading wicket taker last year.

“I’ve watched the Big Bash from afar have admired how competitive it is,” Tahir said.

“I’m looking forward to joining my new Renegades teammates and working hard with them to produce a successful season.”

Originally published as 15-year-old ‘mystery spinner’ coming to BBL



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Noor Inayat Khan: Indian spy princess gets blue plaque


A blue plague is being added to the house in Bloomsbury in London, where World War II spy Noor Inayat Khan once lived with her family.

Blue plaques are used to show connection between a place and a famous person or event, and this is the first one to honour to a woman of Indian origin.

She served in the Special Operations Executive (SOE), a secret organisation set up by the British government which sent spies into countries invaded by Germany, to try and help people living under Nazi occupation there.

Noor worked as a secret agent in Paris and is thought to be Britain’s first Muslim war heroine in Europe.

She was captured by the German secret police called the Gestapo, and died in September 1944 at Dachau concentration camp.

How did Noor become a secret agent?

Noor was born in Moscow in 1914 to an Indian father and an American mother.

She was a member of the Indian Royal Family, and lived with her family in London and Paris.

Noor’s father died when she was 13, so she helped to look after her mother, and brothers and sisters.

She was passionate about music and began writing children’s stories, which were published in France, America and the UK.

Noor's plaque.Press Eye

After Nazi Germany took over France, Noor and her family escaped to England and in November 1940 she joined the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force).

In late 1942, she was recruited to join SOE as a radio operator.

SEO agents were trained to fight, use radio and telegraph communication, and to disrupt the enemies’ plans.

Noor Inayat Khan portrayed in Doctor Who

In January, Noor’s character appeared in an episode of Doctor Who called Spyfall, played by actress Aurora Marion

Often they had secret gadgets and weapons, for example an exploding pen and weapons hidden in everyday objects like umbrellas and pipes, which became the inspiration for many of the secret gadgets seen in James Bond films.

Their missions were often very dangerous and many knew they would probably never return home, but accepted the risk.

Noor’s job was to send secret messages back to London, one of the most dangerous jobs of all.

But she risked her life to go behind enemy lines and was parachuted into occupied France.

Noor as a young woman.

Many of Noor’s fellow agents didn’t even know her real name, instead calling her Nora Baker

She used the codename ‘Madeleine’, and joined hundred of other agents already in place.

Although many members of her SEO network were arrested shortly after she arrived, Noor chose to remain in France, moving from place to place and trying to send messages back to London while avoiding capture.

But she was caught while still working on her first mission. Although she escaped from prison, she was recaptured a few hours later.

Noor-Inayat-Khan-memorial.Getty Images

A memorial to Noor was put up in London square in 2012

Along with three other agents Noor was taken to a concentrations camp. Even though she was starved for almost a year by the German guards, she refused to reveal any secrets.

Noor was awarded the George Cross medal for her bravery – only one of only three women in World War II to receive it.



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