Melbourne: Pakistan refugee Fawad Ahmed has had his application for Australian citizenship accepted, allowing the leg-spin bowler to play in the Ashes series if selected.
The 31-year-old Ahmed played for Australia A in the team's England tour, but under eligibility rules he had to receive full citizenship before he could be considered for the main national team.
Ahmed applied for refugee status when he came to Australia four years ago, and changes to the immigration act meant his application for citizenship could be fast-tracked, with the government announcing its success on Tuesday.
Ahmed says "it's a long journey and it was a long struggle ... it's a victory for our sport, and for this country."
The first of five Ashes tests begins July 10 at Nottingham, England.