Former Test skipper Steve Waugh says spinner Fawad Ahmed can star for Australia in the upcoming Ashes series, beginning in July.
Richie Benaud: Former Australia captain and respected cricket commentator dies aged 84
Richie Benaud: World reacts to legendary commentator’s death
Arsenal v Chelsea tickets cost desperate fans £950
Ahmed was superb for Victoria in its highly-successful Sheffield Shield campaign, earning himself a call up into the Australian Test squad for the tours of West Indies and England.
The Pakistan-born spinner took 48 wickets at an average of 23.73 during the Sheffield Shield season and produced match-winning bowling figures 8-89 in the final against Western Australia.
Waugh says Ahmed has the potential to become a “world-class” spinner.
“He’s a real talent,” Waugh is quoted as saying by AAP.
“In my mind, he can be a world-class bowler.
“I saw him bowl one ball in one of his first games … and I knew he had something special.
“He’s going to be a real asset to Australian cricket, no doubt.
“Other teams would not have seen him, so he’ll have that surprise element. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a very good Ashes series.”
Waugh believes that Ahmed would slot into the Australian squad without any issues and would be a valuable asset to Darren Lehmann’s side.
“He’ll be up to the task of playing Test cricket, I’ve got no doubt,” he added.
“He’ll slot in that squad no problems. They all know each other well, there’s a lot of support staff around, including Darren Lehmann, and he seems to feel comfortable in the Australian squad which is important.”
Australia will warm-up for the Ashes series with a two Test series against the West Indies, the first of which begins on June 6 at Windsor Park in Dominica.
The battle for the Ashes begins in Cardiff on June 8.