Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon says he had no qualms about making 15-year-old wicketkeeper Barney Gibson the youngest first-class cricketer in the county’s history this week.
Gibson, aged just 15 and 27 days, was selected for the three-day match against Durham University after Moxon opted to rest senior glovemen Jonathan Bairstow and Gerard Brophy.
He was facing up to a Tykes attack that included England seamer Ajmal Shahzad and took a superb diving catch off Oliver Hannon-Dalby to celebrate his inclusion.
He claimed a second catch off the spin of David Wainwright after spending 81.2 overs in the field and pleased Moxon with his approach to the game.
“We like to give our young players a chance but they have to be good enough and Barney’s proved he is good enough at this moment in time,” said Moxon.
“His first catch today was outstanding and would have been a good catch for a keeper of any age.
“He’ll not have kep to that kind of pace very much, but he’s not fazed by the occasion or the publicity he’s now getting.
“For someone so young he’s very level-headed he knows what he needs to do.”
Gibson broke a 144-year-old record when he strode on to the field for Yorkshire against Durham University at the Racecourse Ground in Durham on Wednesday.
Charles Young was 104 days Gibson’s elder when he played for Hampshire against Kent at Gravesend in 1867.
Gibson received special dispensation from Crawshaw School, Pudsey, where he is a fourth-year pupil, to make his appearance in the match.
Gibson emerged at reigning Bradford League champions Pudsey Congs, the club of Herbert Sutcliffe and, more recently, Matthew Hoggard.
The club’s cricket chairman Ralph Middlebrook, father of Northamptonshire off-spinner James, said: ‘It’s a wonderful achievement, we are very proud of him and the fact he has come through the ranks at our club.’
Charles Young, England’s previous youngest first-class cricketer, was aged 15 years and 131 days when he made his debut.