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Old November 7, 2012, 08:09 AM
firstlane firstlane is offline
Join Date: March 8, 2010
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,838
Default Australia turns to refugee for spinning help

PAKISTANI asylum-seeker Fawad Ahmed has the scalps of a handful of Test batsmen to show for his net session with the Australian team on Monday.
Ahmed was invited to Brisbane to bowl in the nets to Australia's batsmen to assist with the team's preparation because his leg spin resembles that of South Africa's Pakistan-born leg spinner Imran Tahir.
As he waits for news of his application for refugee protection, which is before federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, Ahmed shared a net with off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
He bowled to captain Michael Clarke, one of the world's best players of spin, and later came around the wicket to the left-handers.
''They are pretty good, but I bowled all right. Michael Clarke is really good, especially to the spinners, and I really enjoyed myself,'' he said.
''I got a couple of wickets, Matthew Wade and a couple of the fast bowlers, [James] Pattinson and [Peter] Siddle. Matthew Wade I got with a wrong 'un, up in the air, and Siddle just tried to slog.''
Ahmed says he was persecuted in northern Pakistan for promoting Western values as a cricketer and coach.
His claim for protection is supported by Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia, as well as former International Cricket Council boss Malcolm Gray.
He plays first-grade cricket for Melbourne University, while working in a warehouse, and for Cricket Victoria as a mentor for new migrants.

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