Rehan Ahmed: who is leg-spinner making England Test squad against Pakistan? Career highlights explained
Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum have named 18-year-old Rehan Ahmed in England’s side ahead of the final Test in the series against Pakistan
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England are set to face Pakistan in the final Test of their three-match series, and could claim a 3-0 whitewash should they secure another victory.
The first Test in Rawalpindi saw England break all manner of records with the bat, as they scored 657 runs in their opening innings, with Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope and Harry Brook all scoring centuries. Pakistan registered an impressive 579 in reply, before England declared on 264/7 in their second innings. On a thrilling final day, the tourists bowled the hosts out and claimed the victory by 74 runs.
The following match in Multan was a similarly entertaining affair - England stumbled their way to 281 in the first innings, before skittling their opponents out for 208. A fine second innings second from Brook saw the visitors set Pakistan a target of 355, and another thrilling final day’s play saw them fall 26 runs short in the chase, which handed England their first series win in Pakistan for almost 40 years.
With the series done and dusted, Rehan Ahmed is set to become England’s youngest Test player after being selected for the final Test. England’s Test coach, Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes named the rising star in the XI ahead of play getting underway on Saturday. He’s come in to replace Will Jacks, while specialist wicket-keeper Ben Foakes returns to the side in place of veteran bowler James Anderson.
Who is Rehan Ahmed?
Ahmed was born in Nottingham in 2004 and his father, Naeem, is a former fast-bowling all-rounder born in Pakistan. Ahmed was originally in the Nottinghamshire youth set up but moved to Leicestershire in 2017 and aged 13 was invited to bowl in the nets at England vs West Indies at Lord’s, famously clean bowling Ben Stokes.
He first made a name for himself on the international stage when he featured in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, taking 12 wickets as England reached the final, ultimately losing to India. Following on from his success, he was bought by the Southern Brave for the 2022 Hundred competition and went on to make his first-class debut on May 2022 for Leicestershire.
He has also taken 21 wickets in his 19 T20 matches for the Leicestershire Foxes in the 2022 T20 Blast. In his three first class matches, Ahmed has claimed nine wickets at an average of 30.11. The 18-year-old leg-spinner also has a batting average of 32.50 having hit 122 against Derbyshire.
What has been said?
Speaking to the press after before the tour, McCullum, the pioneer of ‘Bazball’, said: “We know he’s not the finished article and has raw potential. Ben Stokes, myself and the rest of the coaches like how he approaches his game. The experience of being part of the squad in Pakistan will be hugely beneficial for him, and he will add to the make-up of our squad.”
Who are in the starting XIs for the final Test?
Pakistan are yet to name their XI for the final Test in Karachi, but their squad is as follows:
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Saud Shakeel, Shan Masoon, Zahid Mahmood.
This is how England have confirmed they will line-up:
England: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes, Rehan Ahmed, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Jack Leach.