Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/5/26/clarke-brushes-off-ahmed-speculation

Clarke brushes off Ahmed speculation

UPDATED 26 May, 2013 9:20PM AEST | by Omnisport

Australian captain Michael Clarke dismissed speculation Fawad Ahmed would be called upon for the Ashes tour, ahead of his departure to the UK on Sunday night.

The experts are tipping Ahmed, the Victorian leg spinner, will be added to the 16-man squad already selected to take on England, with the first Test starting on July 10 in Nottingham, as back up for incumbent off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
But Clarke was quick to silence rumours the one-time Pakistani refugee was England-bound.
"The (people producing the) speculation aren't the selectors. I think Nathan is well and truly aware of that," Clarke said at Sydney Airport.
"He knows where he sits in the team. He's very excited about getting over to England and having some success. There is a lot of water under the bridge before we have to worry about the first Test match."
Clarke acknowledged chief selector John Inverarity has left the door open for bringing in reinforcements to the squad, but said that didn't mean Ahmed had already booked his flights.
"I think if you listened to what John Inverarity said, 'We've picked 16 and there is opportunities for other guys'," he said. 
"That could be one player. That could be five players. I don't think he certainly named an individual player. 
"Like I say there is a lot of water under the bridge before me as the captain, I need to worry about the first Test team. We'll wait and see what happens in regards to other guys being selected for the Ashes tour."
On the prospect of his first tour of England as Australian skipper, Clarke said he was ready to defy the doubters.
"I've been as excited over the past month as I have been throughout my career," he said. 
"I love playing for Australia, it doesn't matter what format, it doesn't matter if I'm captain or just a player in the team, but I guess there's some extra special motivation knowing I'm one of the senior players in the team, and I want to make sure I'm standing up and leading by example. 
"And the more people doubt you, I guess, as an individual player, but for me more importantly as a team… that inspires you to greatness."
Clarke also said he hoped he is not defined on the success of the impending 10 Ashes Tests in the coming eight months, and that he thinks his career has been 'bigger than 12 months'.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 26 May, 2013 9:17PM AEST

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