Rehan Ahmed set to become youngest England men's Test cricketer

Leg-spinner will be 18 years and 126 days when third Test against Pakistan begins in Karachi on Saturday

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All-rounder Rehan Ahmed is set to become England's youngest men's Test cricketer after being named in the side for the third Test against Pakistan.

Leg spinner Ahmed will be 18 years and 126 days old on Saturday when the final match of the three-Test series kicks off in Karachi. That will beat the mark set by Brian Close, who was 18 years and 149 days old when he played a Test for England in 1949.

Ahmed has featured in only three first-class matches for Leicestershire - taking nine wickets and making 195 runs. He replaces Will Jacks. In the only other change from the second Test, wicketkeeper Ben Foakes comes in for seamer James Anderson.

Captain Ben Stokes had told reporters on Thursday that Ahmed was an exciting talent but one they would have to nurture.

"Having a wrist-spinner is always exciting, especially for England, but it's not getting too carried away with the potential that he has," he said.

"Because he is only young, and you've still got to nurture talent, no matter how exciting it is."

England won the first Test in Rawalpindi by 74 runs before grabbing a 26-run victory in the second to register their first series win in Pakistan since 2000-01. Stokes said they will press to become the first Test team to complete a 3-0 whitewash in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, former Pakistan captain Azhar Ali said he will quit Test cricket after the third and final game of the series in Karachi.

“It has been a great honour and privilege for me to represent my country at the highest level,” the 37-year-old Azhar said on Friday. “Deciding on when to call it a day is always tough, but, after contemplating deeply, I realised that this is the right time for me to retire from Test cricket.”

Ali, who made his Test debut at Lord’s against Australia in 2010, played 96 Test matches and scored 7,097 runs at an average of 42.49, including 19 centuries.

He finishes his career as Pakistan’s fifth-leading Test run-getter behind Younis Khan (10,099 runs), Javed Miandad (8,832), Inzamam-ul-Haq (8,829) and Mohammad Yousuf (7,530).

“There are many people who I am grateful to in this strenuous, yet beautiful journey,” Ali added.

“I want to make a special mention of my family without whose sacrifices, I would not have been where I am today. My parents, wife, siblings, and children have been my strength throughout.”

Updated: December 16, 2022, 12:45 PM