Pakistan tour a great opportunity for Rehan Ahmed, says Brendon McCullum

Pakistan tour a great opportunity for Rehan Ahmed, says Brendon McCullum

England manager Brendon McCullum (L) and versatile player Rehan Ahmed. — Reuters/ECB

England manager Brendon McCullum said Rehan Ahmed has a fantastic opportunity to show his talent on the series of three tests in Pakistan and has no doubt the 18-year-old has the confidence and ability to overcome the challenges he will face on tour.

The versatile Ahmed has made just three top-class appearances for Leicestershire – winning nine wickets and making 195 runs – and could become England’s youngest Test player if he plays in Pakistan next month.

“What a fabulous opportunity for someone like him,” McCullum told The Daily Telegraph. “He seems really sure of himself.

“He’s 18 and on tour from England to Pakistan, so there are real opportunities there and there will be challenges along the way, but it’s our job to figure that out.

“We know he’s not the finished product. He’s a far cry from that, but there’s something pretty special about him.”

Prior to their Pakistan tour, England played a three-day game against the Lions in the United Arab Emirates Last week.

McCullum stressed the importance of bringing teams together in preparation for a tour, saying it helps build camaraderie in a team that frequently splits up to play in different formats.

“One learning we had earlier in the year is that now the team is very separate from the Twenty20 setup,” McCullum said.

“A lot of our guys are leaving and they’re doing their own thing, so if we’re asking these guys to push the envelope, then we have to get them together a bit earlier.

“A lot of it doesn’t have to do with cricket, it has to do with breaking down those barriers, spending time socially, playing golf or swimming. Once you’ve spent a few days together, you can put on the transplant and start ticking off the skill side of things.”

England’s first game against Pakistan starts Thursday in Rawalpindi.

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