October 4, 1996. A young Pakistan batsman stopped up on the big stage and made headlines.
Shahid Afridi made his ODI debut, according to official International Cricket Council records, at the age of 16.
Afridi hit a hundred in just 37 balls at a maverick pace that was unheard of during the 1990s. Afridi hit 11 sixes and 6 boundaries against a high-quality Sri Lanka attack that had the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas.
He set a new ODI record for the fastest hundred and also bagged the record for the youngest ODI centurion in Nairobi.
The fastest ODI hundred record stood for 18 years until New Zealand's Corey Anderson broke it with a 36-ball 100. In the following year, AB de Villiers took the crown with a 31-ball hundred against the West Indies in Johannesburg.
However, Afridi's record for the youngest ODI centurion is still unbroken.
Afghanistan's Usman Ghani is the nearest on the list of youngest ODI centurions as he had hit a hundred at the age of 17 years and 242 days against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 2014.
Afridi was 16 years and 217 days, according to ICC records, when he hit that famous Nairobi hundred.
However, over the years, there have been several debates about Shahid Afridi's original age. In 2019, in his autobiography, Afridi had claimed he was born in 1975 and not in 1980 which is the official date in ICC's books.
As it turns out, on his birthday on March 1, 2021, Afridi revealed that he is 44.
"Thank you very much for all the lovely birthday wishes - 44 today! My family and my fans are my biggest assets," Afridi said.
But by Afridi's own admission, he is at least 44 if not 46.
Afridi's statement means he was not 16 when he hit the fastest ODI hundred but 19.
This has fueled the controversy of him being the youngest centurion in ODIs. If what he claimed is true, he was 19 years 217 days and not 16 years 217 days.
This places him 8th on the list of youngest ODI centurion's list behind the likes of Usman Ghani, Imran Nazir, Saleem Elahi, Tamim Iqbal, Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal who were all younger than Afridi.
The question arises whether he should be stripped of the record. By that logic then, Shahid Afridi should have no claim on the record for the youngest ODI centurion.
Afghanistan's Usman Ghani can be recognized for his feat -- the hundred against Zimbabwe when he was 17 years 242 days.
Afridi played 27 Tests, 398 ODIs, and 99 T20Is for Pakistan and scored over 10,000 runs in international cricket while picking up over 500 wickets. He retired from international cricket in 2017.