Rehan Ahmed is England’s youngest Test debutant.

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By Creative Media News

As one international career concludes in Karachi, another begins, with Pakistan’s Azhar Ali stating that the series finale will be his last, if selected, and England announcing the debut of highly-anticipated 18-year-old Rehan Ahmed.

In Multan, England’s unassailable 2-0 lead was secured by Ahmed, one of two substitutions made to the team. Will Jacks was replaced by the leg-spinning all-rounder from Leicestershire, while Ollie Pope was relieved of his gloves to focus on his batting, Ben Foakes returned, and Jimmy Anderson was advised to rest his 40-year-old legs.

Rehan ahmed is england's youngest test debutant.
Rehan ahmed is england's youngest test debutant.

In addition to attaining cap number 710, Ahmed also becomes England’s youngest male Test cricketer in history. Brian Close was 18 years and 149 days old when he made his debut against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1949, while Ahmed will be 23 days younger than Close when the third Test begins on Saturday.

Ben Stokes announced his final team of the year 24 hours before the toss, saying, “I think it’s a terrific opportunity for us to not only look at Rehan but also for him to experience what it’s like to play international cricket.

“He has a lot of skill with both the bat and the ball, so it’s nice to be able to bring someone with his potential and enthusiasm and see what he can do this week.”

Rehan ahmed is englands youngest test debutant
Rehan ahmed is england's youngest test debutant.

“At such a young age, I think it’s wonderful to watch someone with so much independence in what they do and how they bat. He has a wide variety of shots. Having a wrist-spinner on your team is advantageous, especially in these conditions.”

On Anderson’s absence, despite his maiden tour of Pakistan yielding eight wickets at an average of 18 runs each and playing a pivotal role in England’s series victory, Stokes noted that it was simply a matter of ensuring he was prepared for the demands of the new year. In February, England plays a two-match series in New Zealand before their Ashes campaign.

Moments earlier at the National Stadium in Karachi, an emotional Azhar described Anderson as the most formidable opponent of his illustrious international career, which concludes this week. The 37-year-old will continue to play county cricket for Worcestershire, but if selected, this will be his 97th and final Test appearance for Pakistan.

Regardless of the outcome, Azhar will end his career as Pakistan’s fifth-highest run-scorer in Test history, having scored 7,097 runs at an average of 42 with 19 hundred.

The right-career hander’s lasted a long period in Pakistan cricket, with the first 75 caps since his debut against Australia at Lord’s in 2010 gained on the road due to countries’ reluctance to tour Pakistan.

Azhar was a pivotal member of the team that ascended to the top of the world rankings and went on to captain Pakistan 40 times in Test and one-day international cricket. His match-winning 118 against Sri Lanka in Karachi in 2019 was also a milestone in Pakistan’s history since it was the country’s first Test century on home soil in ten years.

He stated, “I resign from international cricket as a fulfilled cricketer who accomplished the majority of his aims.” The fact that I was able to captain Pakistan is a source of tremendous satisfaction for me, as not many cricketers go on to represent their nations.

From beginning my career as a leg-spinner as a child to becoming a staple in the Test batting order, I experienced the most memorable events of my life, which I will always treasure.

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