Having fled Pakistan in 2010 after he was persecuted by religious extremists for his work with an NGO that helped educate women, Fawad Ahmed arrived in Australia as an asylum seeker and in 2012, he was granted permanent residency.
Having performed well in Melbourne grade cricket, the leg-spinner made his Big Bash League debut for Melbourne Renegades and then starred for Victoria in the second half of the 2012-13 season.
His form for the Vics impressed his captain Cameron White and former Test batsman Damien Martyn, who declared him the best spinner in Australia since Shane Warne.
Ahmed made his international limited-overs debut in August 2013 after Cricket Australia and the federal government worked together to expedite his citizenship.
Ahmed, a Muslim, courted controversy on debut when he followed the lead of South Africa’s Hashim Amla by declining to bear the logo of the team’s beer sponsor on his uniform.
He took 21 wickets in his first full Sheffield Shield season with Victoria the following summer plus six wickets in four Ryobi Cup matches.