CricketMark Wood and Rehan Ahmed set to miss England’s tour of New Zealand
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Mark Wood and Rehan Ahmed will miss the upcoming red ball tour

As the management juggles its resources amid a hectic start to an Ashes and World Cup year, Mark Wood and Rehan Ahmed are anticipated to miss England’s next Test match series against New Zealand in February. Both were part part of England’s Pakistan tour but didn’t play all three test matches.

Ben Stokes’ secret weapon on Pakistan’s sluggish grounds was Mark Wood, who ended the series with a three-wicket burst in Multan and followed this up with another enthusiastic performance to complete the historic 3-0 clean sweep in Karachi.

As a result, Wood is anticipated to take a vacation during the busy second half of the winter. He will be skipping the two-Test series in New Zealand that begins on February 16 in favour of the two ODIs in South Africa in January and the Ashes this summer. In management’s mind, World Cup is the big aim right now and they want to keep him fit and healthy. He may make a comeback during the six-game white-ball tour of Bangladesh in March.

The 18-year-old Ahmed may also be kept out of the next Test team due to the belief that conditions are unlikely to call for a second spinner and Jack Leach is still the preferred option with a bit of experience under his belt. The 18 years old took seven wickets on debut in Karachi and a first five-wicket haul.

Rehan Ahmed gets his debut cap from Nasser Hussain #PAKvENG

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The team’s head coach, Brendon McCullum, is hoping that Ahmed will instead get to play some franchise cricket. It is confirmed that the leg-spinner will participate in Friday’s auction for the 2023 Indian Premier League, which starts in late March, despite rumours to the contrary. If chosen, he would miss the opening of the county season for Leicestershire.

The teams for South Africa and New Zealand will soon be announced, and Jofra Archer is expected to make his comeback in the former after missing 18 months owing to injury. After being absent from the Test team for Pakistan due to parental leave and tactical considerations, respectively, Stuart Broad and Matt Potts may be added back to the group of seamers.

Brendon McCullum is impressed by Rehan Ahmed

Ahmed has been a gem of a find for England and McCullum has seen in him a great and prolific talent. He hopes that his remarkable rise inspires talented youngsters across all sports, saying: “It is a great story. He’s a young kid but he has a tremendous attitude; he has a high ceiling in terms of skill level, a bit of x-factor and he has the potential to wow the world, which is pretty cool.

“We have to look after him, encourage him to get as much experience of conditions and franchise tournaments with different coaches and players to allow that talent to come out.