By winning a contract with the Indian Premier League, emerging cricket prodigy Rehan Ahmed, who is only 19 years old, might take another step forward in his meteoric rise through the ranks of world cricket.
When he made his debut in the recently concluded series finale in Pakistan, the 18-year-old leg-spinner became England’s youngest men’s Test player, setting a new record for the competition.
After that, he set a record by becoming the youngest debutant from any nation to capture five wickets in an innings with his haul of 5-48 in Karachi, which helped England to a 3-0 whitewash in the series.
It was just a few days before the player auction in Kochi for the money-spinning Indian Premier League that his performance in a match that he won by eight wickets drew the attention of the rest of the cricketing world to his undeniable ability.
There will be a total of 27 English players up for auction, and Ahmed is one of them.
There were rumours that Rehan Ahmed will choose to play for Leicestershire in the County Championship rather than participate in the Twenty20 franchise league. This would allow Ahmed to begin the season earlier.
However, despite the fact that Rehan Ahmed having only played three first-class matches prior to making his Test debut, the management team for England believes that playing in the IPL could be beneficial to rather than detrimental to Ahmed’s growth.
Brendon McCullum, the red-ball coach for England, is a veteran of the Indian Premier League and was excited about the possibility of Ahmed competing in a tournament that contains a large number of internationally renowned cricket players.
In an interview with BBC Radio from earlier this week, the former New Zealand captain said: “It would be really cool if Ahmed were to do that. Since I have some experience with the Indian Premier League (IPL), I can say that participation in the tournament is not always successful for the players. Why shouldn’t they?”
McCullum added: “Why not take advantage of the chance to play for a different team, led by a different captain, under the direction of a different coach, and in the company of a different group of players? You’ll learn a lot. Where else in the world of cricket is an 18-year-old youngster going to get those kinds of opportunities? My opinion is that we ought to support it.”