At 11 Years Of Age, Rehan Ahmed Bagged Wickets Of Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes

At 11 Years Of Age, Rehan Ahmed Bagged Wickets Of Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes

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25 Jul 2022
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England Cricket

Leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed has enjoyed remarkable growth and is on the verge of making his England debut, having bowled to Ben Stokes and Alastair Cook in the nets when he was just 11 years old.

17-year-old Rehan Ahmed is training with England’s ODI team, with leg-spinner as a potential long-term replacement for World Cup winner Adil Rashid.

At 34, Rashid is entering the final stages of his career and, with a chronic shoulder injury, it is important that England start looking to the future. Matt Parkinson has been given a few opportunities but Rashid missed the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca after not being picked for the ODI series against India, with England seemingly unconcerned by him.

Ahmed, meanwhile, was one of the two wrist spinners named in the England Lions squad that faced South Africa in two 50-over warm-up matches earlier this month. He played the first game, which England won by six wickets, and finished the match with figures of 3–54, dismissing Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen and Janneman Malan.

Ahmed told the Daily Mail, “Since I was a kid, I’ve dreamed of playing for England, but I try to live the moment. Night time is for dreaming, so whenever I wake up I focus on the present and do my job.”

Rehan Ahmed has enjoyed a stellar year so far, starting with him as England’s runners-up in the Under 19 World Cup. He then enjoyed an impressive T20 Blast campaign with Leicestershire, taking 19 wickets at an average of 20.15, his performance in the competition earning him a Lions call-up.

“I loved the challenge,” Ahmed added of his Lions experience. “It was a great experience. Even though I went for a few runs, captain Tom Abell backed me and this wicket counts.” However, Ahmed has been on England’s radar for a long time, having bowled to the Test team in the nets before a series against Pakistan in 2016, when he was just 11 years old.

MCC head coach Steve Kirby was tasked with finding net bowlers and Ahmed was drafted from club cricket in an attempt to replicate Pakistan’s star leg-spinner Yasir Shah. And he had managed to dismiss both Ben Stokes and Sir Alastair Cook during the session.

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