Ahmed to play in T20 BBL for Renegades
18:42 AEST Thu Nov 22 2012

The Melbourne Renegades have capped a stunning fortnight for Pakistani cricketer Fawad Ahmed, signing him on a one-year contract for the Twenty20 Big Bash League.

Earlier this month, the legspinner was an asylum seeker playing in Melbourne club cricket when he was flown to Brisbane to bowl in the nets to the Australian team.

Immigration minister Chris Bowen personally considered his case and granted him a permanent visa.

Cricket Australia and state associations also agreed to qualify him as a local player for the Big Bash League (BBL), rather than an international.

Several other BBL teams were also keen to sign Ahmed, but the Renegades announced on Thursday they had signed him.

"Fawad has faced and overcome so many hurdles to arrive at this point of his life," said Renegades' chief executive Stuart Coventry.

"He's now ready to explore the depths of his talent without the stress of hanging on for a decision to be made regarding his refugee status.

"We're pleased to provide him an avenue to play high-level cricket in Australia and believe he is a genuine talent."

The Renegades also announced on Thursday they had signed Tasmanian batsman Alex Doolan.

He showcased his potential with an unbeaten 161 for Australia A against South Africa.

"Alex has 389 runs from his past six knocks for Tasmania but, most impressively, he was the mainstay of Australia A's innings against the South Africans," Coventry said.

"That shows you he can match it against some of the best bowlers in the world and, just as importantly, that he'll enter (the) BBL for the Renegades in red-hot form."

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