Rehan Ahmed hails England’s ‘dream come true’ and shares new love for Test cricket
Modern narratives may try to overshadow Test cricket, but rising England star Rehan Ahmed admits he has seen a shift in perception of the traditional red ball format.
The 18-year-old fits the mold of a White Ball native who grew up with cricket. It was suggested that the multi-day format may be losing appeal to new and younger viewers.
But Test cricket is still alive and well, rejuvenated by the furious start England enjoyed under captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCallum.
Ahmed was unexpectedly selected for the Pakistan Test Tour in December, but was not a passenger as England pulled off a famous 3–0 clean sweep in a seven-wicket match in Karachi.
“I thought it was a boring game,” he said. “But it’s the long game, the hardest game. Now I think it’s the most fun game.
“The test match was the highest level of pressure I’ve ever played. It was a different type of intensity.
“The 100 percent joy I got from playing a test match and winning a test match was unparalleled. I don’t know if anything can match that.”
Earlier this month, Ahmed played in a 3-0 defeat to Bangladesh against T20I Whitewash, becoming the youngest English men’s cricketer to play in all three forms of the game on the international stage.
Before that, he became the youngest England men’s Test debutant at 18 years and 126 days against Pakistan in December, closing out the series with five wickets in an innings on the third day.
“I don’t think even the Test match has sunk in yet,” he said. “To debut in all three formats in such a short time is a dream come true.”
His stellar impression and long-touted potential were such that Ahmed dared to believe his prospects of earning a spot in England’s Ashe’s set-up and the fall World Cup in India.
“I still dream about it,” he admitted. “At the same time, I live my life as it is. When I play, I play, when I don’t play, I don’t. The problem is cricket in England. If I don’t play, I love to watch.”
“Watch cricket live in England [in Pakistan] It was the best day of my life. If I don’t play The Ashes, I’m sure it will be the same again. ”
Ahmed enjoys the opportunity to observe and learn from the success of his England teammate Adil Rashid.
“Giant shoes to fill,” Ahmed said. “It puts pressure on you to think about it. Rush is his own bowler and he’s done so well in England over the years, so it’s only a dream to have half his career. I didn’t think so.
“Rush is a more traditional leg spinner, like the Shane Warne and Stuart McGill types. On the other hand, I focus on bowling it a little faster and not trying to spin as much.”