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Spinner Ahmed available for Ashes selection

Leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed is free to play for Australia in the Investec Ashes after receiving full citizenship of his adopted country.

The Pakistan-born bowler had been waiting to have his application rubber-stamped after changes to citizenship law passed through Commonwealth Parliament last month.

Australian Federal Minister for Immigration Brendan O'Connor confirmed that the process was complete at an announcement in Melbourne today, with the formality of a citizenship ceremony all that remains to be done.

The 31-year-old has been in England with Australia A this summer, taking a wicket against Ireland and Gloucestershire, and could now challenge Nathan Lyon for a place in the senior side to face England.

"I can't wait to be a citizen," Ahmed said in Melbourne. "Especially in the field of cricket I want to just give back something to this country and especially being a citizen there are a lot of other fields where I can help and can be a part of this country.

"I will try my best to be a good citizen and I will do my best for this country."

Australia A are about to embark on tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa with a three-day game in Harare due to begin on July 18.

While talk will now increase that Ahmed will soon be boarding a plane back to England, the Victoria star insists he is only focusing on the A tours.

"I have a great opportunity to represent Australia A in Zimbabwe and South Africa. I will try my best to perform well in those two tours and then it depends on the selectors," he said.

"If they definitely select me, it will be an honour to represent Australia in the Ashes or maybe other tournaments. I'm just concentrating on those two tours."

He added: "Hopefully it will help me a lot to perform well without any problems. I will concentrate more on my cricket in those two tours."