Melbourne, June 6: Former Pakistan asylum seeker Fawad Ahmed will join the Australia A squad for the remainder of their Tour of the British Isles, Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Thursday. The legspinner has moved a step closer now to earning a call-up to Ashes series.
In making this decision, National Selection Panel Chairman John Inverarity said: "We are pleased to be able to provide emerging cricketers with an opportunity to show their abilities. Fawad is a spin bowler of interest and we look forward to seeing how he performs for Australia A."
Fawad Ahmed said of his selection: "I am very happy. It is a great opportunity for me to prove myself for Australia A in overseas conditions.
"I am grateful to Cricket Australia and the National Selection Panel for this chance, and I will do my best to repay their faith in me."
Yesterday, a Bill to amend the Citizenship Act passed through the House of Representatives without amendment, and without the need for a vote. While the Bill will still need to progress through the Senate, this has given CA confidence that there is enough support for this Bill to soon become law.
Currently, according to the ICC Player Eligibility Criteria, Ahmed will become eligible for national selection on the 18th of August. However, should the Bill to amend the Citizenship Act become law and he obtains Australian citizenship and an Australian passport before that date, he will become immediately eligible for national selection at that time.
The ICC's Player Eligibility Criteria does not apply to selection for national A teams, so Ahmed is able to join the Australia A tour.
Ahmed will depart for the UK over the weekend and be available for selection in the Australia A tour matches against Ireland (14-17 June) and Gloucestershire (21-23 June).