Sheffield Shield 2012-13 January 22, 2013

Fawad Ahmed given Sheffield Shield call-up

ESPNcricinfo staff

Fawad Ahmed could make his Sheffield Shield debut this week after being named in Victoria's squad for their match against South Australia at Adelaide Oval starting on Thursday. Ahmed, the Pakistani legspinner who went from asylum seeker to BBL player with the Melbourne Renegades this summer, has been included alongside another uncapped legspinner, James Muirhead, in a 12-man squad that also includes the fast bowler James Pattinson, who is making his return from a rib injury.

Pattinson's comeback is a positive sign for Australia's selectors as they prepare to name a squad for the upcoming Test tour of India. Pattinson suffered the injury during the second Test against South Africa in Adelaide in November and missed the rest of the Test summer, but if he comes through the Shield match unscathed he is expected to be back in the squad for the Indian trip.

The inclusion of Ahmed continues his remarkable rise and is reward for a strong season with Melbourne University in the grade cricket competition. Ahmed has collected 26 wickets at 16.50 for his club this summer and is one of four legspinners in the top 11 wicket takers in the competition, along with Bryce McGain, Brenton McDonald and Muirhead.

Muirhead, 19, has also played in the BBL, turning out for two matches for the Adelaide Strikers last season. Victoria's coach Greg Shipperd said it was yet to be decided which of the legspinners would play, or if both would be included.

"It's great for Fawad to be named in the squad; it's no doubt a very exciting time for him," Shipperd said. "We'll assess the conditions before we decide on the final make-up of the team…but from a national selection perspective, we're selected two leg-spinners who may come into calculations in the future."

Victoria squad Chris Rogers, Rob Quiney, Michael Hill, David Hussey, Cameron White (capt), Peter Handscomb (wk), John Hastings, Will Sheridan, James Pattinson, Scott Boland, James Muirhead, Fawad Ahmed.

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  • Christopher on January 23, 2013, 21:53 GMT

    Hmm, If I was Victoria I would be looking to get my 19 y.o. into the team and build his experience as much as possible. It's a great story, but at 33 I wouldn't be hoping for more than a few horses for courses games. Good luck to both of them.

  • Liam on January 23, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Good luck to him, but unfortunately (for Fawad) i think Muirhead will play in front of him. Has taken more grade wickets, and has been 12th man for the last 2 shield games. If Vics start playing him (consistently) he could have a great future....turns it well. Would love to see both though!

  • Graham on January 23, 2013, 0:39 GMT

    Pras_Punter - From what I saw he is more Kumble than Warne. Not a massive turner of the ball but his accuracy was pretty good.

  • Bob on January 22, 2013, 23:34 GMT

    Call me old-fashioned, bigoted, whatever you want, but this is ridiculous

  • Prasanna on January 22, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    Didn't get a chance to watch him bowl in the BBL. How was his action ? Smooth as Warnie ? Ready for a ticket to Ind/Eng ? We need a wrist-spinner and who knows, could well be him !!

  • Alex on January 22, 2013, 17:09 GMT

    Peter Siddle being rested then, hopefully Jimmy Pattinson can bowl well without any niggles. Also hope Rogers can get some 100's to get himself on the Ashes tour.

  • Mashuq on January 22, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    Good luck, Fawad, if you get a game. Hope Rogers and Hussey score big to advance their claims for inclusion in the Oz test squad (India/Ashes). Best wishes to Pattinson who'll be needed in India, especially if can remain injury free.

  • David on January 22, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    Great news. Hope he gets a game sooner or later.

  • Apoorv on January 22, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    the fact that ahmed has been included is a big step forward for australia! i hope he makes the australian team one day! who knows his experience in the subcontinent might come in handy for the india tour!

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