Rehan Ahmed rejects Sir Alastair Cook’s criticism of Jos Buttler’s captaincy

By Sports Desk December 04, 2023

Rehan Ahmed defended Jos Buttler’s captaincy following criticism of his tactical acumen by Sir Alastair Cook after England started their tour of the Caribbean on a losing note.

Several of Buttler’s decisions were scrutinised during a calamitous World Cup defence and England’s new era in ODIs made a false start as they were beaten by a Shai Hope-inspired West Indies on Sunday.

Having been strangled by spin duo Ahmed and Liam Livingstone, the Windies needed 101 in the last nine overs but they feasted on England’s pace bowlers to win with four wickets and seven balls to spare.

Cook, the former England captain and their record Test run-scorer, wondered on TNT Sports afterwards whether Buttler could have juggled his resources better during the Windies’ successful chase and deployed Will Jacks’ off-spin in the middle overs to take the pressure off the seamers at the death.

But 19-year-old leg-spinner Ahmed said: “Jos is an unbelievable captain. It’s just his call.

“We were in a great position by the end of it. It wasn’t like there was bad decisions throughout the game.

“I don’t think you can put anything down to Jacksy not bowling. I felt like we were always in the game even right to the end.

“We just didn’t execute at the end. We were always still in the game.”

Buttler’s lean patch with the bat also continued at the weekend after being dismissed for three, his fifth single figure score in eight innings while he is averaging 14.1 since the start of the World Cup.

Ahmed said: “Every time I bowl to him in the nets, he smacks me everywhere. Some people can be short of runs sometimes but he’s still Jos Buttler. He’s probably the best white-ball player I’ve bowled to.”

Sam Curran felt the full might of the Windies’ power hitting as he leaked 98 from 9.5 overs and the most expensive ODI figures by an England bowler came with the extra indignity of being pummelled for three sixes in four balls as unbeaten centurion Hope got his side over the line.

Curran’s fortunes have nosedived since being named player of the tournament in England’s triumphant T20 World Cup campaign last year.

Dropped after three innocuous showings at the 50-over World Cup – averaging 11.66 and 70 with bat and ball respectively – the 25-year-old made an important 38 off 26 balls at the weekend, although that was overshadowed by what followed.

Ahmed, who was the pick of England’s attack with two for 40, has backed Curran to demonstrate his resilience in the second ODI of the three-match series on Wednesday.

He said: “After losing a game and if you’ve been hit around then I don’t think you’ll be very happy with it.

“The thing is, Sam is an unbelievable player – everyone knows he is as well, so I’m sure the next game he’ll probably get a five-for, he’ll be good.”

It is understood Ahmed’s younger brother Farhan will be selected on Tuesday in England’s squad for the Under-19 World Cup, which is set to be held in South Africa from January 13 to February 4 next year.

The 15-year-old is an off-spinner by trade and although his elder sibling cracked a couple of jokes at his expense, there is the prospect of two Ahmeds in an England side in the future.

Ahmed joked: “He bowls a lot of dot balls so he’ll be quite boring and I don’t expect (him to hit) too many sixes. But no, I’m very happy for him, he’s very young and he’s been picked for such a big thing.

“He’s quite exciting for an off-spinner, which is quite surprising. But I think he’ll go well. I’m very chuffed for him.

“I play with my older brother and younger brother and dad in club cricket and it’s the best ever feeling.

“As many of us that can play together it’s always going to be good. Whether it’s for England for county for school for a club, anything.

“Playing alongside family is always a great feeling.”

Related items

  • Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave lambasts ICC for unfair economic model, hindering West Indies' resurgence Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave lambasts ICC for unfair economic model, hindering West Indies' resurgence

    In a scathing critique of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and major cricketing nations, Cricket West Indies (CWI) CEO Johnny Grave has accused the global cricketing body of deliberately obstructing the resurgence of West Indies cricket by maintaining an unjust economic model.

    Grave's outburst follows the West Indies' impressive performance in their tour of Australia from January to February 2024. The underdog West Indies, led by captain Kraig Brathwaite, secured a historic Test series draw against Australia, marking their first Test victory on Australian soil in 27 years.

    In a podcast with Daniel Gallan, Grave expressed his frustration, stating, "I think everyone is a bit sick of the phrase - world cricket needs a strong West Indies - when we definitely feel that world cricket is doing everything they can at almost every level to make sure that West Indies Cricket are never strong again."

    One of Grave's primary grievances is with the ICC's revenue share model, which he deems flawed. Grave alleged that West Indies' share of the revenue has dwindled from seven to five percent under the current model, despite headlines suggesting an increase in financial support.

    "I think that's the borne of the frustration of that as Ian Bishop says in his own words that this is a patronising tone. If you really want a strong West Indies Cricket, it would actually not be that hard to do a bit more. ICC are giving us more money in headlines but our percentage of revenue has gone down from seven to five percent, which we struggle to understand," Grave explained.

    The CWI CEO questioned the cricketing community's commitment to fairness, stating, "If we all just are looking after ourselves then are we really acting as a community? Are we putting the best product on the field?"

    This is not the first time Grave has criticized the ICC. In January, he had raised concerns about the economic disparity, claiming that the West Indies made no money from the men's and women's tour of Australia series, with the majority of revenue going to Cricket Australia.

    "The revenue-share model is completely broken," Grave stated. "If we really want to operate as a cricketing community, we are only as strong as the weakest team, and we've got to change the mindset of bilateral cricket.

     "CWI has spent over USD$ 2 million sending teams to Australia in the last four months, and whilst CA have received all the economic benefits from those series, we've seen zero dollars back. Is that really fair, reasonable, and sustainable?"

  • Alex Tudor backs Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum to inspire Ollie Robinson Alex Tudor backs Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum to inspire Ollie Robinson

    Ollie Robinson should have all the motivation he needs under the leadership of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum to get back to firing on all cylinders, according to former England seamer Alex Tudor.

    Robinson’s fitness issues surfaced once more in Ranchi as a twinge in his troublesome back meant he was down on pace, sending down just 13 wicketless overs in the fourth Test and unused in India’s chase of 192 as the hosts went 3-1 ahead in the five-match series.

    Despite an outstanding record of 76 wickets at an average of 22.92 in 20 outings, there is again scrutiny at whether Robinson’s body can withstand the rigours of Test cricket.

    His previous competitive appearance was seven months ago – when a back spasm shortened his involvement – and a seamer described as the heir apparent to Stuart Broad now seems at a crossroads in his career.

    Tudor was a keen observer of Robinson’s underwhelming return in his role as a talkSPORT commentator and sympathises with the 30-year-old, as several injuries restricted him to 10 Tests between 1998 and 2002.

    But Tudor hopes Robinson can rediscover his mojo and argued there is no greater incentive for him than the chance to play under the relaxed environment cultivated by captain Stokes and head coach McCullum.

    “His place is definitely up for debate, which you wouldn’t have said a year or so ago,” Tudor told the PA news agency.

    “He’s a quality performer but he’s having a few issues with lasting a Test match. I’m sure he’ll want to sort this out because playing in and around this team, it’s what any cricketer would want.

    “England are full of positivity under Ben Stokes, who backs his team to the hilt, the same with Brendon McCullum. The atmosphere that they’re creating, any sportsperson would want to be a part of that.

    “I’m sure Ollie Robinson is no different but it’s for him to get it sorted to get his body right and show everybody what he can do.”

    England are due to arrive into Dharamsala on Sunday ahead of the fifth Test, starting on Thursday, with conditions expected to be wetter and cooler than what they have so far experienced on this tour.

    There has been persistent rain and hail showers in recent days in the small city at the foothills of the Himalayas in north India although the weather is forecast to brighten up ahead of the Test.

    Fast bowlers could therefore be called upon more at the HPCA Stadium, with James Anderson expected to shrug off a minor thigh issue to play as he looks for two more wickets to take him to 700 in Tests.

    “It will be another milestone in a glittering career,” Tudor said of the 41-year-old seamer. “I don’t think he would have ever dreamed of the haul of wickets he’d get when he first got into the team.

    “Getting to 700 wickets will be a fantastic milestone and one that I think no other seamer will get near again. Jimmy’s really shown the next generation how to go about things.”

    Tudor first met Anderson during the 2002/03 Ashes tour, with England’s now record wicket-taker then a shy 20-year-old as part of the ‘A’ team. Anderson made his international debut soon after.

    “Quite early on, the England team knew what they had,” Tudor added. “It would be foolish of me to say ‘I knew straight away he was going to have this illustrious career’.

    “But he’s evolved with the times, got better with age and got better and better. The biggest compliment I can give is I regard (ex-West Indies fast bowler) Malcolm Marshall as the greatest of all-time but Jimmy’s like the English version of Malcolm Marshall because he gets wickets all around the world.”

  • Small role for Matthews as Mumbai Indians secure seven-wicket win over RCB Small role for Matthews as Mumbai Indians secure seven-wicket win over RCB

    West Indies captain Hayley Matthews had only a small role to play, as her Mumbai Indians team registered a comfortable seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore to assume pole position of the Women’s Premier League at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, on Saturday.

    Matthews, who made 55 in a losing cause on last, got a fairly decent start, and though she failed to push on, it mattered little, as Mumbai Indians made light work of the modest target set by Royal Challengers Bangalore.

    Chasing 132, Mumbai Indians got to their target with 29 balls to spare, with Matthews contributing a brisk 21-ball 26.

    She struck three fours and a solitary six in a 45-run opening stand with Yastika Bhatia, which laid the foundation for the run chase. Bhatia lashed a 15-ball 31. 

    Matthews added a further 24 runs for the second wicket with captain Nat Sciver-Brunt (27), before holing out to cover off-spinner Shreyanka Patil.

    From there, it was left for New Zealander Amelia Kerr to apply the finish with a snappy 40 off 24 balls, including seven fours, that fuelled an important 49-run third wicket partnership with Sciver-Brunt.

    Earlier, RCB stumbled their way to 131 for six off their 20 overs after being sent in, Australian Ellyse Perry holding the innings together with an unbeaten 44 off 38 balls.

    With the innings in trouble at 42 for four in the ninth over, Perry put on 29 for the fifth wicket with fellow countrywoman Sophie Molineux (12), before adding a further 51 for the seventh wicket with another international teammate Georgia Wareham, who made 27 from 20 deliveries.

    The win was Mumbai’s third in four games, putting them top of the standings on six points.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.