Zeenews Sports Bureau
Melbourne: Pakistan seems to be the new supply line for the leg-spinners around the world. After Imran Tahir, who played for Pakistan A before breaking into South African national team, another Pakistani leg-spinner, Fawad Ahmed, 33, is on the verge of getting a call up from the Australian national team.
Ahmed, who plays for Australia’s state team Victoria, had made his first class debut for Abbottabad, Pakistan in 2005 before migrating to Australia in 2010. He has recently taken a five-for for Victoria against Queensland in the Sheffield Shield.
Ahmed has played 11 first-class matches in which he has taken 30 wickets including two five-wicket haul.
Under ICC regulations, Ahmed will be eligible to appear for the Australian team after August 18, 20013 as he will have spent enough time in the country by then. Cricket Australia, who has been in constant search of a good spinner after the retirement of ace leg-spinner Shane Warne in 2007, wanted Ahmed`s official recognition as a resident late last year. It is said that their appeal have continued around his admission to citizenship.
However, those who play with him or against him are pretty sure about that once he qualifies as a Australian citizen, he will be fast tracked into the Australian national Test team considering the shortage of quality spinners.
"When he`s qualified, he`ll play for Australia pretty quickly, I`d imagine," ESPN cricinfo quoted Victoria`s captain Cameron White as saying.
"It`s pretty simple. He`s one of the better leg-spinners - if not the best - I`ve seen in first class cricket outside [Stuart] MacGill and [Shane] Warne."
Queensland`s captain James Hopes said Ahmed "the best wrist spinner in the competition".
"He`s a match-winner, especially on pitches that turn," Hopes said.
"He`s got great control and he`s got a good wrong `un. He would hold his own at the top level, comfortably."