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Fawad in PM’s XI

Calcutta: Fawad Ahmed has been named in the Australian Prime Minister’s XI to take on the West Indies in Canberra on January 29.

The Pakistan-born leg-spinner, who was recently granted asylum in Australia after an initial application was rejected, played ten first-class games in Pakistan from 2005 to 2009 and has been bowling to Australia’s Test players in the nets over the past year.

Ahmed made his Big Bash League debut for the Melbourne Renegades on Wednesday.

He’s been selected for the one-day match alongside fellow Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja and Indian-born fast bowler Gurinder Sandhu, in what National Selection Panel chairman John Inverarity described as a move to reflect the “cultural diversity that exists in the pathway systems”.

“Fawad is playing for the Melbourne Renegades in the T20 Big Bash League and grade club Melbourne University, and we are encouraged by his ongoing development,” Inverarity said. “We have also been very pleased with the progress of Indian-born fast bowler Gurinder Sandhu, who has performed well for the Sydney Thunder following strong performances for Australia in last year’s Under-19 World Cup.”

The squad

Ricky Ponting (captain), Brad Haddin (vice-captain), Fawad Ahmed, Jono Dean, Alex Doolan, James Faulkner, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Kane Richardson, Gurinder Sandhu, Ashton Turner, Nick Winter (12th man).