West Indies in Australia 2012-13 January 11, 2013

Fawad Ahmed named in Prime Minister's XI

ESPNcricinfo staff

Fawad Ahmed, the Pakistan-born legspinner who was granted asylum to live in Australia last year, has been named in the Prime Minister's XI to take on West Indies in Canberra on January 29. Ahmed, who made his Big Bash League debut for the Melbourne Renegades on Wednesday, was initially denied asylum but that decision was overturned late last year.

He is part of what Australia's national selector John Inverarity called a side that reflected the cultural diversity in Australia's cricket pathways, with the fast bowler* Gurinder Sandhu, and the Pakistani-born Usman Khawaja also in the team. Ricky Ponting will captain the side with Brad Haddin as vice-captain.

"The PM's XI game is a special fixture on the Australian cricketing calendar," Inverarity said. "It provides a unique opportunity for many of our most talented and promising cricketers to showcase their skills. Captain Ricky Ponting and vice-captain Brad Haddin are two players who bring with them leadership and enormous experience on the international stage, and will be excellent drawcards.

"Usman Khawaja has been in great form this summer and James Faulkner, who made his international Twenty20 debut for Australia against India last year, will also be keen to make his mark.

"The team also features emerging leg spin bowler Fawad Ahmed, who was born and raised in Pakistan. Fawad is playing for the Melbourne Renegades in the KFC T20 Big Bash League and grade club Melbourne University, and we are encouraged by his ongoing development.

"We have also been very pleased with the progress of ... 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. With two Pakistani-born and one Indian-born player in the team, these talented players reflect the cultural diversity that exists within our pathway systems."

Prime Minister's XI Ricky Ponting (capt), Brad Haddin (vc, wk), Fawad Ahmed, Jono Dean, Alex Doolan, James Faulkner, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Kane Richardson, Gurinder Sandhu, Ashton Turner, Nick Winter (12th man).

* 09:35 GMT, January 11, 2013: The story has been edited to remove "Indian-born" from the description of Gurinder Sandhu. The same description has also been removed from John Inverarity's quote.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shane on January 13, 2013, 1:40 GMT

    emerging legspinner? Are you kidding me. 34 years old, barely played first class cricket, average record. This is such a publicity stunt. What a waste time. Do they consider Higgs and Young emerging spinners just coz theyve got a BBL game. Of course not!!

  • Mashuq on January 12, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Well, it's good to see the broader picture of immigrants getting into Oz cricket structures. Hope he gets a shot in a SS match to see how he goes. Holland will be back next season so it won't be easy then. Who knows if this happens. He might find himself playing the Ashes on a Sydney turner next January, although at 34 (then) I wouldn't bet on it. Zampa and Boyce are no Warnes (once in a lifetime) and will need a couple more years to get to test standard.

  • Simon on January 12, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    Watched Sandhu at the Under 19's World Cup. He's a good, strong bowler and all going well has a great future in the game.

  • Guy on January 12, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    @DylanBrah, the PM's XI has always had two ACT representatives in the twelve, with one usually being 12th man (in this case, Winter). Jono Dean is 28 and surely zero chance of playing first-class cricket - I would have preferred Queanbeyan young gun Dean Solway to get a guernsey (son of Peter, a former first-class cricketer - he also played for the Chairman's XI but hardly got a hit!). In general, this is a high standard PM's XI, with no fewer than four senior Australian reps (Faulkner played a few T20Is), and some good up and coming choices including Richardson, Doolan and Handscomb. @Patrick Vandermaal, leave the politics out of it mate, this is a cricket website.

  • corey on January 12, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    i personally think that either cameron boyce or adam zampa should have got the spot for this game. what we are really lacking is a wicket taking spinner. CA should bring one or both of these guys on the indian tour even its only for development. given the age of both of them we could expect them to have atleast a ten year international career.

    dont get me wrong i think its great that fawad ahmed is playing in australia, but long term option would to be go with boyce or zampa

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    congratulations to peter handscomb for his selection

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    what a successful story this guy has.. may god bless u bro!

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    Cultural diversity is so important to Cricket as our international community is largely made up of nations from the Caribbean and subcontinent. It heartens me to see Cricket Australia embracing this.

  • Muhammad on January 11, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    Great to see another Pakistani representing Australian cricket. Wish him good luck for future

  • Dylan on January 11, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    Jono Dean and Nick Winter? I don't get it?