Australian cricket wants to accelerate the ability of Pakistan-born refugee Fawad Ahmed to play KFC T20 Big Bash League cricket now that Ahmed has won his appeal for the right to stay in the country.
The decision was made at a quarterly meeting of State and Territory Cricket Association CEO’s, Cricket Australia's CEO and the CA Executive Team in Melbourne today.
CA CEO James Sutherland said: "Cricket has recognised Fawad Ahmed’s unique circumstances now that he will be granted permanent residency (subject to the usual checks, which he’s undertaking).
"We agreed to move quickly and compassionately so he has the ability to play BBL (and State cricket) this year if one of the teams wants his services, as a local player.
"We acknowledge Paul Marsh and the ACA in supporting this action.
“Owners of the KFC T20 Big Bash League teams were unanimous in their view that Fawad (and other players in similar circumstances) be regarded as a local player and therefore be eligible to be picked up by a BBL squad in time for this year’s tournament, which starts December 7.
“This is a demonstration of Australian cricket’s desire to be more inclusive and as an extension of that we discussed the desire for young talented cricketers from diverse backgrounds to be fast tracked, if we are to be considered a sport of choice for all Australians,” Mr Sutherland said.
Click here to watch Fawad Ahmed's appearance on The Project last night.
The Australian cricket senior management meeting also decided:
1) To institute a pitch inspection process to ensure Bupa Sheffield Shield pitches are of the expected standard. It was the meeting’s view that in preparing our players for Test cricket, they should be developing their game on pitches that are of an international standard. This process will commence on January 13, 2013.
2) To broaden the reach of Cricket Australia’s talent management and pathway programs. The group heard from Greg Chappell, who recommended a closer and deeper integration with States on talent identification and the creation of a national pathway from as young an age as 15.
CA CEO James Sutherland, all State and Territory CEO’s, and the CA Executive Team covered a broad agenda, which examined cricket’s major strategic objectives through to 2015.
This is the first time the group has met since CA’s governance reforms and the establishment of a new CA Board that includes three independent Directors.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 16 November, 2012 7:51PM AEST