Teenage rising star Rehan Ahmed could take another step in his rapid ascent through the ranks of world cricket by earning an Indian Premier League contract.
The 18-year-old leg-spinner became England’s youngest men’s Test cricketer when he made his debut in the recently completed series finale in Pakistan.
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He then became the youngest debutant from any country to take five wickets in an innings, with his haul of 5-48 in Karachi helping England to a 3-0 series whitewash.
His performance in an eight-wicket win alerted the rest of the cricketing world to his undoubted ability and came just days before Friday’s player auction in Kochi for the money-spinning IPL.
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Ahmed is one of 27 English players who will go under the hammer. There had been reports Ahmed would ignore the lure of the Twenty20 franchise competition in order to start the County Championship season with Leicestershire in April.
But even though Ahmed had played just three first-class matches before making his Test debut, the England management believe the IPL could aid, rather than hamper, his development.
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England red-ball coach Brendon McCullum, a seasoned IPL campaigner, was enthusiastic about the prospect of Ahmed playing in a tournament that features numerous global cricket stars.
“It would be awesome if he (Ahmed) did. I’ve been involved with the IPL a couple of times so sometimes it works out for guys and sometimes it doesn’t. Why not?,” The former New Zealand captain said on BBC Radio.
“Why not get an opportunity to go and play under different coaches and different captains and rub shoulders with different players and pick up those experiences? What 18-year-old kid anywhere else in world cricket is going to get those chances? I think we should encourage it.”