How to age backwards? Learn from Naseem Shah

According to Einstein’s theory of special relativity time slows down or speeds up depending on how fast you move relative to something else. The latest young fast bowling sensation from Pakistan Naseem Shah has seemingly applied this theory in his real life to make time stop or travel backwards. Let’s get to the core of the story without confusing you with complex scientific terms.


Naseem Shah, aged 16 years and 280 days became one of the youngest cricketers to play Test cricket for Pakistan when he made his debut against Australia at Gabba, yesterday. Despite the fact that he has not been able to pick his maiden wicket legitimately yet (could’ve had one if not for overstepping the line), the buzz around him have looked fairly genuine. The teenager can clock 150 kmph, he is aggressive, he can move the ball and get the ball to bounce. His action reminds cricket knowing public of Shane Bond and Sir Richard Hadlee. In a nutshell, he looks a good & likable fast bowling prospect for Pakistan if managed well.

Naseem Shah got emotional on his Test debut


Along with his skills, his age has also been a matter of discussion. While many have been praising the young boy’s temperament at such young age, there has been a case of reverse aging with him as well. Some of the old tweets and reports suggest that Naseem was 16 years old back in 2016 and he is still surprisingly 16! Doesn’t this look like a classic case of travelling through the time as we see in so many Hollywood movies such as Arrival or Back to The Future or Doctor Strange or Avengers Endgame where characters could move to the past or future in a jiffy?

An article dated back to 2016 in which Andy Roberts says Naseem Shah was 16 years old back then only.


Age fabrication is not a new concept for sports or Indian subcontinent sportspersons. It’s a perennial phenomenon in junior cricket. Reducing your original by one to two years on paper gives you the same extra amount of time to participate in all junior competitions. Moreover, it also gives you extra strength to excel at the level you are competing at. For example, a boy aging 19 participating in an U-17 tournament by fabricating his age will have an edge over other players physically too as his body will be more developed and suited to perform difficult tasks than his on paper contemporaries.


In India though, rules have been made very strict nowadays with having a zero tolerance policy towards age frauds. A player serves 2 years ban and a criminal case to follow if found guilty of age fraud in India. There are several ways to verify their age as well. Apart from documents which can be manipulated, BCCI makes players go through ‘ Bone Test ‘ where a player can be found over-aged looking at his/her bone density.

That’s not the case in Pakistan though. Shahid Afridi in his book titled ‘Game Changer’ writes  “I was just nineteen, and not sixteen like they claim. I was born in 1975. So yes, the authorities stated my age incorrectly.” Just to put things into perspective, he was shown a 1980 born by the authorities across Pakistan followed by the world but in his book he revealed that he was born in 1975 which means he was 21 and not 16 at the time of his debut. It’s still confusing why Afridi wrote 19 and not 21 in that part of the book as he should have, going by the simplest of Mathematics lessons.

Afridi got away with fudging his age since he revealed his age after retirement but hopefully we won’t have to wait for Naseem to retire and then write his book where he may reveal his secret of staying 16 years old for 3 years.

Tweet dated December 2018 says Naseem is 17 years old, adding upto the confusion.

Quoting the Einstein’s theory of relativity again and converting it into simpler terms, ”  A person sitting in a spaceship travelling at the speed of light would age much slower than his twin eating chips at home ” which means Shah must have designed such a spaceship somewhere and somehow to age at such a sedate pace even though it’s practically impossible according to scientists. Only Naseem Shah can illustrate how he has managed to stay 16 since 2016. Maybe he will have a tip or two for people who are getting older and want to know how to stop aging or age backwards!

Mohammad Kaif taking a dig over teenager’s age

Today in this digital and transparent era, getting away with Age-fraud is as difficult as getting a place in the national side. People can google old articles or dig old tweets about the player and the delusion about someone’s young age gets over in a minute. However, at the end of the day, it all comes down to the approach of the board of the country the player is representing. Players in India get found out and serve severe punishment.

J&K player Rasikh Salam who got banned for fabricating his age

Rasikh Salam who was the youngest player to play in IPL was found over-aged and thus he was banned. Back in 2011, when birth details of Ankit Bavane didn’t match with the one on his passport, he was removed from Indian U-19 team and we got to know Unmukt Chand who replaced him as captain. Cases about Manjot Kalra and Nitish Rana are still under trial and no player can play the U-19 WC twice even if he is eligible are some of the examples of the intolerant policy in India while players in Pakistan or Afghanistan still get the levy of their board’s inefficient and lackluster policies.