England spinner Ahmed leaves tour of India

England will be without Rehan Ahmed for the rest of their tour of India as the teenage leg-spinner is set to return home because of an urgent family matter.

The 19-year-old featured in the first three Tests but was left out for the penultimate contest in Ranchi which began on Thursday as England selected left-armer Tom Hartley and off-break bowler Shoaib Bashir as their spinners.

The tourists do not intend to draft in a replacement for Ahmed, despite being left with 14 players for the final Test in Dharamshala in a fortnight and two frontline spinners in Hartley and Bashir.

A statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board said: “Rehan Ahmed will return home for personal reasons with immediate effect from England men’s Test tour of India.

“He will not be returning to India. England will not be replacing Ahmed for the rest of the tour.”

Ahmed, England’s youngest senior cricketer in all three formats, has taken 11 wickets in the series at an average of 44, including six dismissals in the second Test in Visakhapatnam.

He featured in Rajkot last week despite a visa problem in the build-up. He was given a temporary two-day visa before the issue was resolved and was praised for how he handled the situation by captain Ben Stokes.

“The great thing about youth is they just take everything in their stride,” Stokes said last week. “He handled a situation that could have affected quite a lot of people in a different way very, very well.”

Middle-order batter Harry Brook withdrew ahead of the series because of personal reasons while left-arm spinner Jack Leach pulled out of the tour because of a knee injury sustained in the first Test.

India have also had to contend with a high-profile withdrawal in star batter Virat Kohli who announced the birth of his son earlier this week, and injuries have deprived them of Mohammed Shami and Rishabh Pant.

Source : Sky Sports