Australian legspinner, Fawad Ahmed, has decided to quit red-ball cricket with the future not looking great at Victoria in Sheffield Shield cricket. The 37-year-old played only two matches this season in the longest format as left-arm spinner Jon Holland was preferred over him. He took the decision after sitting down Victoria’s captain (Peter Handscomb), coach (Andrew McDonald) and the general manager of cricket (Shaun Graf).
“I’m a cricket ’nuffie’ so it was pretty hard for me. I love four-day cricket,” Fawad, who ends his first-class career with 205 wickets from 62 matches, told cricket.com.au on Tuesday (February 12). “The way I train and the way I love the game – I have spent hours and hours in the nets and enjoyed my time both on the field and off the field.
“It was a very tough decision, but that was the (best) available option and that was the future looks like. There is an end for everything. I still love the game – one-day, T20 or four day cricket – but for me the only available option was white-ball cricket so I’m going to continue to play 50-overs and T20,” he added.
The right-armer has been in a fine form in white-ball cricket and impressed with 13 wickets in the Big Bash League, finishing as the second-highest wicket-taker for Sydney Thunder this season. He troubled many batsmen with well-disguised googlies and his economy rate was also pretty much in check.
With him impressing pundits, there have been a lot of voices for his inclusion in the Australian limited-overs side for the Pakistan series and the 2019 World Cup beginning May 29. Australia will play a total of ten ODIs before the World Cup – five against India followed by five against Pakistan in the UAE. The selectors though have not named him for the India series.
“If I get selected against Pakistan, that would be great. I’m not expecting anything but if something came up, I’ve been bowling really well for the last few years,” he said.
“Performance-wise I’m in a good position and fitness-wise I’m pretty good as well. If something like that came up, it’d be nice to play with my teammates again, otherwise I’m very grateful for what I’ve had over the last six-seven years here in Victoria.”
Having quit red-ball cricket, Fawad will now be playing the Pakistan Super League in the UAE, which will help him stay in touch with white-ball cricket should he get a national call-up anytime soon.
“This (decision to retire from red-ball cricket) wasn’t ideal for me because I wanted to play cricket and I wouldn’t be able to play any cricket with Victoria if I was staying for the last couple of months of the summer. The best option was to move on and to get some cricket over there (in the PSL) in the near future.
“If something happens regarding Australia or anything, that (playing in the PSL) would really help my cause as well because I’ll be in touch with white-ball cricket,” he explained.