Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Leicestershire leg spinner Rehman Ahmed called up by England after three first-class games

The 18-year-old leg-spinner Rehman Ahmed has been called up to England's squad for the series against Pakistan after just three first-class games for Leicestershire.

As the Guardian points out, if he is selected for one of the three tests he will beat Brian Close's record to become the youngest ever England test player and also become the first Leicestershire player given an England test cap since James Taylor in 2011.

The paper also quotes the England coach Brendon McCullum:
"We know he’s not the finished article and has raw potential, but Ben, 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 makeup of our squad."
McCullum's caution was being justified as he spoke. Ahmed recorded figures of none for 73 off eight overs today as England posted 501 for 7 against England Lions off only 79 overs. And older readers will remember Ian Salisbury being called up to the team unsuccessfully after joining the England party as a net bowler.

Still, it's easy to see what England like about Ahmed. He had a successful under-19 world cup, is quicker through the air than Matt Parkinson and scored a century in his third county championship game.

Sooner or later England will need a white-ball replacement for Adil Rashid, and it may be that role which Ahmed is really auditioning for this winter. You can see him in T20 action in the video above.

I wish him well, and like Adil Rashid and Mason Crane, he now has a label on this blog. I hope it will see many posts.

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