London. Mar 4 (ANI): Cricket Australia is trying to fast-track the citizenship application of Pakistan-born leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed ahead of this summer's Ashes series, and the 31-year old refugee has expressed hope his dream of playing in the Ashes would be come true soon.
The 31-year-old plays for Queensland after he fled his homeland, saying religious extremists persecuted him, the BBC reports.
Ahmed was granted Australian residency in January and took 7-162 on his first-class debut Down Under, and full citizenship would allow him to play for Australia when the Ashes begin at Trent Bridge on 10 July, the paper said.
A clause in Australian law allows some athletes to have their cases brought forward - something, which have been previously invoked, by Olympic athletes, it added.
Meanwhile, Ahmed told a British radio that they are trying their best but there must be some process, adding it will take some time, but he is pretty hopeful it will come through quickly.
Ahmed said it would be a dream moment for him to play in the Ashes for Australia in England.
Ahmed has made an impressive start to his career with Queensland, and his 7-162 against Victoria meaning his debut was the most successful by any spinner in the Sheffield Shield.
Under current ICC regulations, Ahmed will be eligible to play for Australia on his existing visa after 18 August, but this would mean he would miss the first four Tests of the five-Test series in England. The return Ashes series starts in Brisbane on 21 November, the paper concluded. (ANI)