Champions Trophy: Fawad Ahmed set to make history for the Aussies

 

Stormont

Fawad Ahmed, the leg-spinner who has been fast-tracked into the Australia set-up, finally donned the gold and green for the first time today.

The Aussies’ so-called secret weapon is making his debut in the Australia A match against Ireland here in Belfast, though he did not have to leave the players’ tent after the Ireland captain, Kevin O’Brien, won the toss and asked the tourists to bat.

With no pretensions as a batsman, Ahmed was at the bottom of the Australia team-sheet, but the fact that he was there at all is one small step in Australian history – the first Pakistan-born player to turn out for the country.

For the moment, the 31-year-old, who fled to Australia in 2010 due to fears for his safety because of Taliban threats, cannot play for the senior side until 18 August, unless he is granted an Australian passport before then. But if he makes a big impression in this match and the game against Gloucestershire next weekend, then the fast-track process could itself be fast-tracked.

Steve Smith, who could be about to be superseded as the No 1 leg-spinner on this trip, says Ahmed has fitted in well to the squad.

“He has bowled really well in the nets since he arrived in the last couple of days and has started really well,” Smith said. “So I’m looking forward to seeing him bowl in the match. He seems to be a nice fellow, I haven’t really got to know him yet, but he’s obviously a very skilful leg-spinner.”

It was Smith’s prowess with the bat which rescued Australia A from 65 for 4 to close the first day of their four-day game in Belfast on 248 for 6.

Smith resumes this morning on 104 not out, having hit 14 fours and a six and shared an unbroken partnership of 109 with James Pattinson, who has already faced 93 balls for his 42.

Brad Haddin, vice-captain to Michael Clarke in the Ashes squad and likely to lead the side if the captain does not recover from his long-standing back injury, and Usman Khawaja, the other front-line batsman not involved in the Champions Trophy, scored two runs between them. Ireland’s Max Sorensen took 4 for 44 and the veteran opening bowler Trent Johnston took 2 for 50 as the home side ripped through the Aussie top order.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test