Rehan Ahmed is hoping to continue his meteoric rise by earning a first Indian Premier League contract after England encouraged the teenager to keep his name in this week’s auction.
The 18-year-old leg-spinner became the country’s youngest ever men’s cricketer when he was picked for the final Test against Pakistan and rewarded that faith by setting up the tourists’ victory with a five-wicket haul in Karachi.
This alerted the wider cricketing world to his potential and came at the perfect time to attract attention in Friday’s IPL auction in Kerala.
The PA news agency has learned that his home county of Leicestershire, which has worked closely with the England and Wales Cricket Board over the past year, had initially expected him to sit out this year’s tournament and start the match. LV = Insurance County Championship season with them in April instead.
The club supports Ahmed’s decision to remain in the auction.
But while that path was under discussion, with an eye on developing Ahmed’s red ball skills ahead of a potential role in next summer’s Ashes, the decision was made to keep him in the frame for a contract with the Pakistani Super League. more taken into consideration. .
A change was made to her IPL status, with her base price rising from around £40,000 to a lofty £50,000 following her eye-catching debut in Karachi, but her name was never dropped from the shortlist.
Although Ahmed had played just three first-class matches for Leicestershire before his trial bow, the current English regime has taken a relaxed view on such matters.
Liam Livingstone was also picked to tour Pakistan and made his Rawalpindi debut despite operating as a white ball specialist for the better part of the past two years.
With captain Ben Stokes returning to the auction hoping to land a superb deal having missed out on the previous edition to concentrate on his Test team leadership and key players such as Jonny Bairstow, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood all cleared for IPL duty, Ahmed’s potential participation would be unlikely to count against him in future selection.
Head coach Brendon McCullum, who has worked extensively in the IPL as a player and coach, is also well aware of the possible benefits.
Speaking on the BBC’s Test Match special this week, he said: ‘It would be great if he did. I’ve been involved with the IPL a few times so sometimes it works for the guys and sometimes it doesn’t. Why not?
“Why not have the opportunity to go play with different coaches and captains and play against different players and gather those experiences? What 18-year-old anywhere else in the cricketing world will have those chances? I think we should encourage that.
Ahmed has already shown his aptitude for the game in short form, impressing in the Vitality Blast and winning a Hundred deal with defending champions Southern Brave last summer.