"This is pleasing news for CA and a big step forward in a process that will help enable Fawad Ahmed become an Australian citizen," Cricket Australia said in a statement. "Pending royal assent by the governor-general, the bill will become law and Ahmed will be considered for Australian citizenship, subject to the normal tests and assessments that any citizenship applicant would go through."
Ahmed will still have to become a citizen to play for Australia. He has been named in the Australia A squad to tour Africa at the same time as the Ashes but the chairman of selectors John Inverarity indicated he would consider selecting Ahmed for the series in England.
[Ahmed and fellow spinner Ashton Agar] are, in a sense, in contention if we decide to expand the Ashes squad and expand it with a spinner," Inverarity told the BBC earlier this week.
Inverarity did sound a note of caution though: "He will be considered for selection – no more than that. If we select him for the Ashes team the amount of pressure on him is going to be extraordinary. He's shown signs of great maturity, but it's going to be extremely difficult.
"He is a fine young man who has handled himself extremely well so it's a very interesting story, especially in the diversity context so we will just have to wait and see what happens. He is a very good leg-spin bowler."
Ahmed played first-class cricket in Pakistan before fleeing to Australia in 2010 where, after an initial rejection, he was granted asylum.
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