Afridi reveals his real age – sort of

Pakistan great claims officials lied about his age when he made his international debut, says he was born in 1975

Pakistan legend Shahid Afridi has finally weighed in on the debate over his age, saying he was born in 1975, not 1980 as previously thought.

Afridi famously made his international debut in 1996, scoring a record-breaking 37-ball century against Sri Lanka, a feat made even more remarkable by the claim at the time that he was just 16 years old.

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In an excerpt from his recently-released autobiography Game Changer that has been quoted widely in the subcontinental media, Afridi says officials lied about his age.

However, he added further confusion by saying he was 19 at the time of his debut, even though being born in 1975 would have made him 20 or 21 in 1996.

"Also, for the record, I was just nineteen, and not sixteen like they claim," he writes.

"I was born in 1975. So, yes, the authorities stated my age incorrectly."

Image Id: FB0F902FD664429F850CF0B9A787DBAD Image Caption: Afridi made his international debut in 1996 // Getty

Afridi did not reveal exactly why officials lied about his age. However, it’s worth noting he had represented Pakistan’s Under-19 side in the Caribbean just weeks before his debut (if he was born in 1975 as he claims, Afridi would have been too old to play for the Under 19s in 1996).

Afridi’s revelation that he was born in 1975 makes the length of his decorated career even more impressive. It means he would have been 40 or 41 by the time he retired from international cricket in 2016, not 36 as previously believed, and he would have been 43 or 44 during this year’s Pakistan Super League.