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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Dean Wilson

Rehan Ahmed to make history as England's youngest ever men's Test cricketer at 18 vs Pakistan

Teenage sensation Rehan Ahmed has been picked to become England's youngest ever men's Test cricketer on Saturday when he breaks Brian Close's 73 year record.

England captain Ben Stokes confirmed that Ahmed would be a part of his Test team for the first time as they go in search of an historic whitewash in Pakistan. Ahmed will be just 18 years and 126 days when he takes the field, beating Close's mark by 23 days that was set back in 1949 when he played New Zealand at Old Trafford.

However on the eve of his expected debut, Ahmed complained of feeling unwell at England training and was sent back to the hotel to rest. It is not thought that it will be enough to keep him out of action come game day, but such has been the ill health of so many on this tour, anything is possible.

Ahmed replaces James Anderson in the side from Multan, with Ben Foakes also returning to the eleven to take the gloves with Will Jacks sitting out after the first two Tests of his career. But all eyes will be on Ahmed who has the brightest of futures ahead of him.

The Leicestershire leg-spinning all rounder has enjoyed a meteoric rise this year, making his first-class debut against Worcestershire in May. He has played just three matches in total now, but grabbed his first five wicket haul and his first century in his last appearance of the summer against Derby.

It was in the shortest formats though where Ahmed caught the eye both in the Blast and then the Hundred for the Southern Brave, following up his match-winning performances for the England U19 team's run to the World Cup final in the Caribbean in January and February.

Rehan Ahmed will make his Test debut on Saturday (Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Ahmed has long been on England's radar, even bowling out Alastair Cook in the nets as a 13 year old, under the watchful eye of the late Shane Warne who tipped him for a bright future. That future will start in the country of his family's heritage where his father was born.

England captain Ben Stokes said: "It is a good opportunity, not only for us to have a look at him but for him to experience what life is like in international cricket.

"We brought him into the squad to get amongst us and experience what it is like being in this group and we've been very impressed with what we've seen with both bat and ball. So it is great to be able to bring someone with the talent he has and see where he can go.

"Being at such a young age, it is great to see someone with so much freedom with what they do. The way he bats, he likes to get on with it and show what he can do. He's got a vast array of shots and to have a wrist-spinner is great in these conditions.

Ahmed was a standout performer for the England U19 side earlier this year (Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

“Having a wrist-spinner is always exciting, especially for England, but it’s not getting too carried away with the potential that he has, because he is only young, and you’ve still got to nurture talent, even how exciting it is.

"Players especially like Rehan, he could be an unbelievable example to set for younger kids who want to come up. They may have maybe heard about what's happened in cricket recently but he can be seen as an example of 'no, we've got this 18 year old who is hopefully a potential superstar, why can't I be that?'"

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