Sydney: Cricket Australia (CA) chairman of selectors, John Inverarity has said if Pakistani refugee leggie, Fawad Ahmed is selected for this year`s Ashes series then his story could blossom into a wonderful thing for their nation`s society.
Australia is likely to choose two spinners on the Ashes tour and the natural back up for off-spinner Nathan Lyon is a wrist spinner. Melbourne-based Fawad is easily the best in the country on the strength of his strong, late-season Sheffield Shield form for Victoria.
During his three-match stint with the Vics post-Christmas, Ahmed took 16 wickets and earned rich praise not only from teammates but also rivals.
The catch to Ahmed`s possible selection is that under International Cricket Council rules, he is not eligible to represent Australia until August 18 unless he is given an Australian passport beforehand.
Federal Immigration Minister Brendan O`Connor is considering his application and if it is fast-tracked, as was the case with many Olympic athletes before him, the Australian selectors will give serious consideration next month to choosing Fawad for the Ashes in England.
Inverarity agrees with many Shield observers that Ahmed is an international-standard bowler, adding he is a mature and very good leg-spinner and all those who have played against him and the entire coaching staff rate him as a good bowler.
Inverarity added if Ahmed`s Australian selection were all to happen, it would be a wonderful thing for their Australian society that somebody of that background has come and through the medium of cricket has become a central figure in their community.
Inverarity added if eligible Ahmed would all be considered on merit, adding there will be no favouritism or discrimination, as he is a player of interest and he is potentially a lovely story in their community.
The selector added they would like everybody who is playing cricket to be at their disposal and Ahmed is certainly one of those, adding he would certainly come under consideration.