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Christchurch – Former New Zealand cricket captain, Martin Crowe, looks set for a dramatic return to international action after DNA tests on his toupee hair confirmed he qualifies to play for the Russian under-15 squad.

Crowe, 48, had retired from the game in 1995 to pursue a career in coaching and television commentary, but now, thanks to the East European barber shop floor cuttings glued to his head, meets the age group requirements set out by the ICC for the upcoming World U15 championships.

“I’d originally hoped for a first-class comeback,” admitted Crowe, “but after it became apparent my reflexes weren’t quite up to the task, an idea hit me out of the blue. Not literally hit me, years of batting against the West Indies pace attack mean I’m quite good at ducking. I mean metaphorically hit me.”

“I’d remembered being told that hair can be used to accurately estimate age,“ added Crowe, “so with my unit being assembled from East European teenage off cuts and next year’s U15 world championships fast approaching, the path forward became clear!”

“We do analyze hair samples to determine age in disputed cases,” confirmed a spokesman for the ICC, “and in this instance the results indicated the subject was a 14 year old ethnic Russian. Although given there are YouTube clips of Mr Crowe playing for New Zealand in 1982, we feel he’s using a technicality to his advantage here.”

Crowe is unrepentant however, and looking forward to his new career, “if I can get into the team!” But whilst adjusting to a future as a teenage Russian cricketer isn’t all plain sailing, the language barrier hasn’t been as tough as Crowe first feared.

“It turns out the Russian for LBW and Howzat! are LBW and Howzat!” said Crowe, “After just a few weeks of practise I’m now fluent in both terms.”

Martin Crowe, ex-New Zealand cricket captain, Russian teenager, bi-lingual toupee wearer: we salute you.