Fawad Ahmed given Sheffield Shield call-up
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.