Pakistan-born Fawad Ahmed named in Australian test squad
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Pakistan-born refugee Fawad Ahmed was named to Australia’s test squad Tuesday for tours of the West Indies and England later this year after an impressive domestic first-class season.
Legspinner Ahmed, 33, who took 48 wickets at an average of 24.79 for Victoria state in the Sheffield Shield this season, joins Nathan Lyon as Australia’s spin bowling options.
Ahmed, who sought asylum in Australia after fleeing Pakistan in 2010, was delighted with his call-up.
“It’s been an amazing 2015 for me,” he said. “I’ve bowled with a big heart and a big chest in every situation.”
Another Sheffield Shield standout, 35-year-old batsman Adam Voges, will have a chance to make his test debut after making 1,358 runs at an average of 104.46 this season with Western Australia.
“Adam Voges and Fawad Ahmed had sensational seasons at domestic level and their performances just couldn’t be ignored,” national selector Rod Marsh said. “They thoroughly deserve their call-up and the opportunity to be a part of this squad.”
Brothers Shaun and Mitch Marsh were also included, with Mitch preferred ahead of World Cup stars James Faulkner and Glenn Maxwell as the side’s second allrounder with Shane Watson.
World Cup player of the tournament Mitchell Starc has been rewarded for his efforts and fellow paceman Peter Siddle returns, while James Pattinson is ruled out of the West Indies tour with an injured left hamstring.
“Scans confirmed that (Pattinson) has a moderate grade injury that will require intensive rehabilitation over the coming weeks,” Cricket Australia physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said.
Michael Clarke, who announced his retirement from one-day cricket ahead of the World Cup final, will captain the side, which plays two tests in the West Indies from June 5, ahead of the five-test Ashes series starting in England from July 8.
Fast bowler Ryan Harris, who sat out the World Cup, will miss the West Indies tour to be home for the birth of his first child and will join the squad in England.
Peter Nevill was named backup wicketkeeper to Brad Haddin ahead of Matthew Wade,
Squad: Michael Clarke (captain) Steve Smith, Fawad Ahmed, Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Mitch Marsh, Peter Nevill, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, David Warner, Shane Watson.