Teen prodigy in line for Big Bash debut

17-year-old Mackenzie Harvey joins the Melbourne Renegades to cover Aaron Finch

Louis Cameron

16 January 2018, 03:56 PM AEST

Mackenzie Harvey is in line to become the KFC Big Bash League's youngest debutant and the first person born in the 'noughties' to play top-flight domestic cricket in Australia.

The Melbourne Renegades added the prodigious teenager to their squad to face the Adelaide Strikers next Monday.

A week after turning heads with a blazing 39-ball half-century in a tour match against England, the 17-year-old has been included in the Renegades squad for their crunch match at Etihad Stadium as a replacement player for captain Aaron Finch.

If he plays, Harvey will become Australia's first ever player born in the year 2000 to play top-flight cricket and, at 17 years and 126 days next Monday, would be the youngest debutant to play an Australian domestic T20.

Harvey posts impressive Under 19s century

Alister McDermott, who made his debut for Queensland in the old state-based Big Bash aged 17 years and 211 days in 2009, is the current youngest..

"I'm really stoked and to play in a Big Bash game would be absolutely amazing," Harvey said.

"After my last few games I’ve felt pretty confident so it should be good fun.

"I'm a Renegades fan so to hopefully pull the guernsey on for them will be a big honour."

Harvey, the nephew of former Australia limited-overs allrounder Ian, is currently in Brisbane at the CA Rookie Camp and will link up with his new teammates later this week.

He missed selection in Australia's squad for this month's Under-19 World Cup but is eligible for the next edition of the event in 2020. The silver lining of his omission was the chance to take on England as they tuned up for the Gillette ODI series against Australia, launching four sixes in a 48-ball 59 for the Cricket Australia XI against an attack featuring the likes of Mark Wood and Chris Woakes.

In his first senior match outside of club cricket, Harvey said he felt up the task – outside of one brief moment where he was a little starstruck.

"There were some balls where I felt in control of the game and felt pretty confident," the left-hander said after the innings.

Mackenzie Harvey unleashes against England // Getty
Mackenzie Harvey unleashes against England // Getty

"But then I looked up one ball and Woakes was coming in and I just realised he has played Test cricket before and I've gone nowhere near it.

"That was probably the scariest bit out there but other than that, it was a great experience overall.

"Whatever is thrown at me, I feel like I'm confident enough to play my shots no matter what the standard.

"Even though it was a full-strength England team I felt confident out there I was able to back my skills."

Harvey's heroics stun England with explosive half-century

Should Harvey play against the Strikers, it will mean the Renegades will have fielded the youngest male and female Big Bash debutants, after 15-year-old Annabel Sutherland played four games in last summer's Rebel WBBL.

England had it's first 'noughties' debutant in June last year when 16-year-old off-spinner Hamidullah Qadri played for Derbyshire in a four-day County Championship match against Glamorgan.

Ireland allrounder Gaby Lewis became the first person born in the 21st century – which began January 1, 2001 – to play international cricket when she played a T20 for their national women's team against South Africa in 2014.

Afghanistan off-spinner Mujeeb Zadran became the first male international cricketer born this millennium after collecting 4-24 in his ODI debut against Ireland last month.

Post-2000 babies are gradually filtering into domestic ranks in Australia; U19 World Cup squad members Zak Evans and Jack Edwards, along with Victorian rookie-list quick Mitch Perry, are among 'noughties' children to currently hold professional contracts.