IPL 2023 Auction: Rehan Ahmed opts out of IPL auction to focus on red-ball cricket

Rehan Ahmed picked up seven wickets in his debut Test against Pakistan.

Rehan Ahmed
Rehan Ahmed. (Photo Source: Twitter/@RehanAhmed__16)
Koustav Sengupta
Koustav Sengupta

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After becoming England’s youngest-ever men’s cricketer to pick a five-for on debut, Rehan Ahmed was touted to weave his magic in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). However, the 18-year-old has reportedly  pulled out of the IPL 2023 mega auction to concentrate on his development in red-ball cricket.

His decision comes after England Test coach Brendon McCullum appreciated the teenager and even encouraged him to play in the cash-rich league. However, with The Ashes in his mind, Ahmed decided to stay out of the 16th edition of the IPL.

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“It would be great. It would be awesome if he did. I’ve been involved with the IPL a couple of times so sometimes it works out for guys and sometimes it doesn’t. Why not?” McCullum said about Rehan to BBC Test Match Special. 

“Why not get an opportunity to go and play under different coaches and different captains and rub shoulders with different players and pick up those experiences? What 18-year-old kid anywhere else in world cricket is going to get those chances? I think we should encourage it,” the former cricketer added.

In the meantime, Ahmed will be seen playing in Division Two cricket for Leicestershire with the hope of cementing his position in the England Test squad. He has shown a lot of promise in the early stage of his career and as per reports, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is working closely with the county side to develop his skills further. It is also reported that the English management wants Rehan to prepare himself as an all-rounder for the upcoming season.

Now, it's not just Rehan, several English cricketers like Sam Billings, Chris Woakes and Alex Hales have decided not to play in the upcoming Indian Premier League. Even though not everyone has stated a reason for the same but it is expected that Billings and Woakes wants to improve their red-ball cricket and thus, will stay out of IPL 2023.

On the other hand, big name English players like Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid among many others will go under the hammer.