Will Fawad Ahmed get Australia call for Pakistan series after 5 years?
Ahmed picked 22 wickets in the CPL with 17 wickets in the last nine matches.
Updated - Sep 30, 2018 11:25 am
He played his last T20I more than five years ago but his rich yields in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) this year could see Pakistan-born veteran leg-break spinner Fawad Ahmed getting a call for the Australian national side. If Ahmed is called, it will be a big surprise particularly after he lost his state (Victoria) contract earlier in 2018. Nevertheless, he has a chance to make a comeback after being included in Victoria’s JLT One Day Cup squad against South Australia on September 30.
Australia will play Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October end and their coach and national T20 selector Justin Langer is keeping a close watch on 36-year-old Ahmed for the series against the No.1 T20I side in the world. The T20I series will follow the two-Test series between the two sides.
Ahmed picked 22 wickets in the CPL with 17 wickets in the last nine matches and the Aussies could pick him up for a series which is expected to be dominated by the spinners. According to a report in cricket.com.au, owing to the axing of Adam Zampa and the failure of Mitchell Swepson, failing to capitalise on his chances, the door could be open for Ahmed to assist the likes of Ashton Agar and Glenn Maxwell.
Ahmed has played three ODIs and two T20Is for Australia in 2013 and has six international wickets in both the versions combined. He has an average of 22.66 in the T20Is as against 48.33 in the 50-over format.
Simon Katich feels Fawad Ahmed can still deliver
Former Australian batsman Simon Katich has also voiced his opinions in the Ahmed story. Having coached Ahmed in the Trinbago Knight Riders in the CPL, Katich said Langer was interested to hear about the spinner’s stint in the CPL and he gave a positive feedback over Ahmed’s capacity to return to international cricket.
“(Langer and I are) good mates and I was fielding a few messages from him during the CPL about a few of our players because Chris Lynn was there as well,” Katich mentioned.
“I’ve given him my honest feedback. Justin knows where I stand … and we’ll see what happens. I was really impressed not only with (Fawad’s) skill but for me, the big thing was his work ethic and his attitude. I think he’s got all the weapons (and) a lot of guys couldn’t pick his wrong’un.”