West Indies in Australia 2012-13

Fawad Ahmed named in Prime Minister's XI

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 11, 2013

Comments: 19 | Text size: A | A

Fawad Ahmed bowls during his BBL debut, Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Renegades, BBL 2012-13, January 9, 2013
Fawad Ahmed made his BBL debut this week © Getty Images
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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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by getaclue 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!!

Posted by Beertjie 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.

Posted by Nerk 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.

Posted by Moppa 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.

Posted by mux164 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

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 23:04 GMT)

congratulations to peter handscomb for his selection

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 16:49 GMT)

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

Posted by   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.

Posted by Alizx5 on (January 11, 2013, 14:18 GMT)

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

Posted by DylanBrah on (January 11, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

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

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 11:17 GMT)

@Elvin Zammit you must remember this is a "Prime Minister's XI". She chas no idea how to run a country like Aust let alone select an something important like a cricket team

Posted by arvind.Kejriwal.AAP_A_Better_INDIA_ on (January 11, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

@ getsetgoopk - It clearly shows that in Ind there's nothing that would encourage fast bowlers to keep bowling fast. Zak, Munaf, Ishant, VRV Singh, Nehra, Agarkar, RP Singh, Sreesanth, -they were all 140+ bowlers if you check their speed in their initial matches but with the passage of time they lost their pace and the reason being the batsmen-paradise (pitches) in India. They just get hammered for runs. So coaches tell them to concentrate only on line, length, and swing !

Posted by arvind.Kejriwal.AAP_A_Better_INDIA_ on (January 11, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

@ getsetgopk - Just like CA managed to find a technically correct batsman in Pakistani-born Usman Khuwaja whereas PCB keeps looking for such batsmen for its own team and ends up giving chance to Maliks and Akmals again n again. lol

Posted by c3vzn on (January 11, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

Sandhu was born in Blacktown, NSW. Not India.

Posted by getsetgopk on (January 11, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

"Indian-born fast bowler Gurinder Sandhu" oh boy! did NOT see THAT coming LOL you gota be kidding, they can't find a half decent fast bowler out of 1.2 billion indians how the heck did CA got their on a 'fast' bowler from a handful of immigrants from India. isn't that something.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 7:22 GMT)

nick winter ? ashton turner ? jono dean ? how about giving these places to guys like coulter nile and abbott ?

Posted by Meety on (January 11, 2013, 7:15 GMT)

Really happy for Fawad Ahmed, it is a feel-good story, however, on pure cricketing terms, he really should not of been selected. It has been a near thankless task being a spinner in Oz & a bloke like Boyce I think feel a bit miffed. Sandhu on the other hand at least played four our U19s & had a good game in the Futures League.

Posted by srriaj317 on (January 11, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

I thought Gurinder Sandhu was born in Australia and is simply of Indian heritage? Does anyone know about this?

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