The 18-year-old made his international debut and eventually took over for Adil Rashid, who had “huge shoes to fill.”
If England wanted to give a positive spin to a trip to Bangladesh that ended in a whitewash in the T20 series, they could do so by incorporating a positive spinner. To watch Rehan Ahmed is to see a youthful cricketer clearly unafraid. The 18-year-old, who was dropped into a team full of World Cup winners in challenging conditions and unfamiliar surroundings, demanded the ball when on the field and the strike when in the goal.
He states, “I think that comes quite naturally for me.” When I was just 13 or 14 years old and playing in clubs with a lot of professional first-class bowlers, I kept asking the captain, “Why aren’t you getting overs?” Give me a break, give me a break.’ I’ve just learned to accept that.
I’ve always maintained that I got here by working for it. I’ve still tried to do my job despite being astonished by someone batting with me, bowling at someone in the nets, or standing near someone in the field. Thanks to the players and coaches, I haven’t felt like a stranger and have been welcomed in. I’ve felt quite at ease in this environment. They have not made me feel like I have to prove myself, but rather that I should just chill out and enjoy it.
Ahmed has become the youngest Englishman to make an international debut in each of the three formats in just three months. He has taken wickets in all of them, only the first time he was nervous. Test cricket was the only thing, not that I was afraid of it, but I knew I would be nervous about it, and I was,” he says of the Karachi match against Pakistan. It felt like I couldn’t feel my forearm when I bowled my first ball. But I loved how it felt. It took two or three balls for it to go, and when I got my first boundary, all I could think was, Now, it’s a normal game.'”
With Adil Rashid, probably England’s greatest white-ball bowler ever, now 35, Ahmed has become widely regarded as his likely successor. It will be a huge task to fill them. I feel pressure just thinking about it,” he says. “Rash is more of a traditional leg-spinner, but not old-fashioned because of his variations,” they are very different bowlers. In contrast, Ahmed says, “I focus on bowling it a bit faster, not trying to spin it as much, and hit the stumps every ball.” Experience is more important than anything else.
Before turning 27 in 2015, Rashid had barely played any international cricket. Since then, he has made 679 senior appearances across three formats. Ahmed has still played just four top notch games, eight in the 50-over organization and 21 T20s, including his global matches.
Ahmed’s focus is on the county season and the red ball as he returns to Leicestershire. He says, “I used to think that Test cricket was a boring game.” However, it is the longest and most difficult game. I now regard it as the most enjoyable game, and I derive the most pleasure and enjoyment from it. My joy at participating in and winning a Test match was unparalleled. I don’t know of anything that compares.”
The way he spent his downtime while on tour demonstrates that he does not enjoy short-form entertainment: watching the epic Turkish drama Ertugrul on Netflix, which has 90 episodes and lasts approximately 68 hours. It talks about religious wars and other similar topics. He describes it as “quite interesting.” As a result, I’m reading now; I used to only read books, but now I read subtitles.
Ahmed is aware that playing a few winter games on the subcontinent does not guarantee participation in this summer’s Ashes or the 50-over World Cup that follows. Places in England’s red- and white-ball teams are more competitive than ever. However, off the pitch, in any event, he shows restraint. ” He describes the Ashes as, “I still dream of it, but at the same time I take each day as it comes.” I play if I want to, and I don’t if I don’t, or things like that.
The problem is that England is my favorite team to watch even when I’m not playing. Therefore, it wasn’t just me who was Pakistan’s 12th man. It was the best day of my life to actually watch England cricket live.
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