Australia A in South Africa 2013

Ahmed bill passes Australian Senate

Brydon Coverdale

June 20, 2013

Comments: 12 | Text size: A | A

Fawad Ahmed celebrates the wicket of Greg Moller, Victoria v Queensland, Sheffield Shield, day 4, Melbourne, February 21, 2013
Fawad Ahmed is likely to be an Australian citizen by the time of the first Ashes Test © Getty Images
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Fawad Ahmed is expected to be eligible for the full Ashes series after the Australian Senate passed a bill that would allow his citizenship to be fast-tracked. The legislation has now passed through both houses of parliament and after it is rubber-stamped by the governor-general Ahmed will be eligible to obtain an Australian passport, which should make him available for the first Ashes Test.

However, although it is likely that Ahmed will be called into the squad it is by no means certain. On Wednesday, he and the 19-year-old left-arm spinner Ashton Agar were named in the Australia A squad to tour Zimbabwe and South Africa in July and August, while the Ashes is being played, and both men will be in contention if another spinner is added to the Ashes touring party.

"We've got a couple of spinners we're mulling over at the moment," the coach Mickey Arthur told the ABC. "We've got Nathan Lyon in the squad. If the weather stays like this we might consider another spinner. There's been no clear-cut decision on that as yet."

Arthur discuss the possible inclusion of another spinner with fellow selectors John Inverarity and Rod Marsh this weekend in Bristol, where Australia A will play against Gloucestershire in the final match of their tour of the British Isles. While it is unclear at this stage whether Ahmed will travel to Africa or remain with the Ashes squad, a Cricket Australia spokesman said the progress of the bill through parliament was encouraging.

"This is pleasing news for CA and a big step forward in a process that will help enable Fawad Ahmed become an Australian citizen," the spokesman said. "Pending royal assent by the governor-general, the Bill will become law and Ahmed will be considered for Australian citizenship, subject to the normal tests and assessments that any citizenship applicant would go through."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Chris_P on (June 20, 2013, 21:41 GMT)

I know things are not great for Aussie cricket, but seriously guys, this guy has not proven himself over any length resembling a season. I don't get the hype, he is a solid player, looks good, but to select him without proven record? What message are the NSP sending out to guys like SOK? Or even guys like Zampa? The quick bowlers will be our major ace, not a spinner.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (June 20, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

Changing your laws just so you can boost your spin department is just embarrassing. Hopefully all Aussies who snipe about the players who have played for England (usually with English parentage and having served a qualification period) will now stop their continual whining.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

I wonder where Nathan Hauritz is??!!!

Posted by Jaffa79 on (June 20, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

Everyone seems to forget that this guy really hasn't bowled very many fc overs. It is a lot to ask of him and to be honest, it smacks of desperation. I can see England targeting him if he does play and if they can't get overs out of him, it'll put even more pressure on the injury prone bowling stocks. More than this, what does it all say to Nathan Lyon? Now, the guy is no bowling genius but he has been treated appallingly. From laughably choosing Doherty over him on the spinning tracks of India to this. It wouldn't surprise me one jot if his confidence is shot to pieces. I only hope it puts to bed all of the sniping from Aussies about non English born Poms. We never changed our laws to crowbar a player into our team! If Ahmed plays, the importance of the baggy green will be severely dented.

Posted by AKS286 on (June 20, 2013, 15:31 GMT)

England already win the Ashes'13. Due to the fear of Ashes Aus changes their law it proves how much they fear to England. Its a quick decision by CA & Senate. This change will bring expatriates for every sports. Before Fawad's citizenship they must talk to Harbhajan, Mishra, Mendis, Price, Md.Rafique, etc and try to convince them to represent Australia. Gambhir, Sehwag, Chamara Silva, Younis Khan, P.Jayawardhene will also help to re-build the team, surely they will resolve Opening, middle order & WK problem, Younis Khan is a good captain too.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

Ahmed is good, but he's inevitably be a victim of hype due to his unique circumstances. He's not the next Warne and he's not young.

On his citizenship rather than his playing ability though, he seems like a genuinely nice, educated guy. In the short time he's been in Australia he's used cricket to help other immigrants integrate into society and is already giving back a lot.

Posted by Beertjie on (June 20, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

Spot on @Gavin Stevenson on (June 20, 2013, 8:27 GMT), but a flat pitch is probably the best one for him to debut. The Oval looks like the one to me. Can't see us getting enough runs for him to play much of a part in Ashes I, but Ashes II might just be quite a different story. Agar is someone who can bat, but England are unlikely to be fazed by a left-armer. Agree with @CricketPervert on (June 20, 2013, 7:26 GMT) that they are both for later games.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

He needs to be picked ahead of Agar, what we are missing is decent leg spin option and if this guy is as good as he is being written up, pick him. Off spin and Left Arm Orthodox is quite boring and very much holding pattern type bowlers.

Posted by popcorn on (June 20, 2013, 8:20 GMT)

Can't understand why the rush to get Fawad Ahmed into the Ashes side in England. Is he a Murali, or a Warnie, or a Chandrashekar?

Posted by CricketPervert on (June 20, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

Very good player who CA have been looking at closely for over 12 months. Agar is also a very impressive all rounder, so will be interesting who they chose. I think we are asking a bit much if we think either will be our saviour though. Batting is clearly the issue.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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