JLT Sheffield Shield 2017-18

Teen could become Shield's first Mr 2000

Tasmania name uncapped spinners Jarrod Freeman and Mac Wright in Shield squad to take on NSW in Sydney

Martin Smith

20 February 2018, 04:44 PM

Teenager Jarrod Freeman could become the first cricketer born in the 2000s to play Sheffield Shield cricket after he was named in Tasmania's squad to take on NSW in Sydney this weekend.

An off-spinning allrounder from the Mowbray Cricket Club, the home club of Aussie great Ricky Ponting, Freeman has been named in Tassie's 13-man squad to take on the Blues at the SCG.

Freeman and leg-spinner Mac Wright are both in line to make their Shield debuts and a first game for Freeman, who was born on July 15, 2000, would signal the start of a new generation of domestic cricket in Australia.

While players born in the 21st century have already played both men's and women's international cricket, Freeman would be the first Shield player to be born in the 2000s.

Late last year, Afghanistan's Mujeeb Zadran became the first international male cricketer born in the 21st century when he took four wickets on debut against Ireland and Sharjah.

And in 2014, Ireland allrounder Gaby Lewis became the first international cricketer born this millennium – which started on January 1 2001, not January 1 2000, to be precise - when she made her debut at the age of just 13.

To put a possible debut for Freeman into context - and to make us all feel a little bit older - the 17-year-old was born just two months before the start of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

In a cricket.com.au article last June, Freeman was one of six players tipped to be the first naughties cricketer to play in the Sheffield Shield.

The off-spinner took eight wickets on debut in the Future's League last October, including figures of 5-99 in the first innings, and was a part of Australia’s squad at the recent Under 19 Cricket World Cup.

But Freeman is no certainty to play against the Blues, with Wright a relatively experienced campaigner in Future League's cricket while he also played three games for the CA XI in this summer's JLT One-Day Cup.

The Next Gen - Mac Wright

The Tigers will enter the match buoyed from their thrashing on Western Australia last week, which saw them jump from fifth to second on the Shield table.

The Blues, who currently sit in third spot and are just 1.6 points behind the Tigers, will be desperate to bounce back after two straight defeats 

TASMANIA: George Bailey (c), Alex Doolan, Jake Doran, Andrew Fekete, Jarrod Freeman, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Simon Milenko, Sam Rainbird, Tom Rogers, Matthew Wade, Beau Webster, Mac Wright