Emerging Pakistan-born spinner Fawad Ahmed looks to be the next leggie in Australian selectors’ sights, earning a spot in the Prime Minister’s XI match against the West Indies in Canberra.
Recently granted asylum in Australia after an initial application was rejected, Ahmed played ten first-class games in Pakistan from 2005 to 2009 and has been bowling to Australia’s Test players in the nets over the past year.
He’s been selected for the one-day match at Manuka Oval on January 29 alongside fellow Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja and Indian-born fast bowler Gurinder Sandhu, in what National Selection Panel Chairman John Inverarity described as a move to reflect the cultural diversity that exists in the pathway systems.
“Fawad is playing for the Melbourne Renegades in the T20 Big Bash League and grade club Melbourne University, and we are encouraged by his ongoing development,” Inverarity said.
“We have also been very pleased with the progress of Indian-born fast bowler Gurinder Sandhu, who has performed well for the Sydney Thunder following strong performances for Australia in last year’s Under 19 World Cup.”
Brad Haddin and Chris Gayle will also get the chance to continue their ongoing feud, with Australia’s former Test wicketkeeper confirmed as vice-captain under skipper Ricky Ponting.
PM’s XI: Ricky Ponting (capt), Brad Haddin, Fawad Ahmed, Jono Dean, Alex Doolan, James Faulkner, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Kane Richardson, Gurinder Sandhu, Ashton Turner, Nick Winter (12th man).