In 2010, Fawad Ahmed sought refuge in Australia after facing persecution by religious extremists due to his involvement with an NGO dedicated to educating women in Pakistan. After a two-year process, he was granted permanent residency in Australia in 2012. The leg-spinner showcased his skills in Melbourne grade cricket and went on to make his debut in the Big Bash League for the Melbourne Renegades. During the latter part of the 2012-13 season, he delivered standout performances for Victoria, earning the praise of his captain Cameron White and former Test batsman Damien Martyn, who hailed him as the best spinner in Australia since Shane Warne.
Fawad Ahmed’s impressive form led to his international limited-overs debut in August 2013, following collaborative efforts between Cricket Australia and the federal government to expedite his citizenship. His decision as a Muslim to follow the example set by South Africa’s Hashim Amla and decline to wear the logo of the team’s beer sponsor on his uniform stirred some controversy.
In his first full Sheffield Shield season with Victoria during the following summer, Ahmed took 21 wickets, and he also claimed six wickets in four Ryobi Cup matches. His standout performance came in the 2014-15 season, where he emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the Sheffield Shield, securing 48 wickets, including a remarkable 8/89, at an average of 24.85, contributing significantly to Victoria’s success in clinching the championship.