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Ahmed named in Australia A squad

Fawad Ahmed, the Pakistan-born leg-spinner who has been widely tipped to be added to Australia's Ashes squad, has been named in the party for next month's A tour of Africa.

The 31-year-old claimed refuge in Australia three years ago after he fled his native Pakistan claiming he was being persecuted by the Taliban and has since gone on to forge a successful career in domestic cricket.

A recent amendment to the Citizenship Act meant that Ahmed would be allowed to fast-track his passport application in time for the Investec Ashes series, which begins on July 10, and national selector John Inverarity has hinted that the spinner is on course to receive a call-up.

He has now been named in the Australia A squad for the tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe, where the first match gets under way on July 18.

But that does not necessarily preclude him from featuring in the Ashes, with Inverarity saying: "Should replacements be required for the Ashes tour these players will be playing in a similar time zone during this time."

Although he is yet to be awarded an Australian passport, Ahmed has played for Australia A in their tour match against Ireland in Belfast, where the spinner took one wicket in 17 overs.

Inverarity recently hinted Ahmed could be added to the Ashes squad.

He told the BBC's Test Match Special programme: "It is likely that his passport will be through in time for him to be considered for the squad.

"Then he will be considered for selection. He is a very interesting story."

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