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Fawad Ahmed granted Australian citizenship on day Ashes begins

Fawad Ahmed: Granted Australian citizenship

Pakistan-born leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed has officially become an Australian citizen, on the same day as the opening Ashes Test begins.

A former refugee, Ahmed has been tipped to play in the Ashes at some point in the series, though he will first join up with the Australia A squad for a tour of Africa.

On Wednesday he attended the final protocol - a citizenship ceremony in Melbourne.

"It is a great day for me and it has been a dream of mine to become a citizen of Australia ever since I arrived here at the beginning of 2010," he said.

Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland called it "a proud day for Australian cricket".

"Fawad Ahmed is a talented cricketer, but most of all he is a wonderful human being," he said.

"He has confronted many challenges along the way, so today is a day for celebration. We are incredibly happy for him."

The Australian government moved amendments to the Citizenship Act through the upper house of parliament to help fast-track his application.

The legislation allows the immigration minister to apply shorter residential requirements on some citizenship applicants, such as elite athletes with the potential to represent Australia, as in Ahmed's case.

What will be the result in the first Test?

  • England win
  • Australia win
  • Draw
  • Tie