Ahmed's Ashes hopes rise
Sydney - Pakistan-born leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed is in the frame for an Ashes berth after he was included Thursday in the Australia squad for the one-day international and Twenty20 series against England.
Ahmed, 31, a former refugee who became an Australian citizen last month, replaces Xavier Doherty, who played in the ICC Champions Trophy in England last June.
Chief selector John Inverarity said Ahmed was in the mix for a call-up during the home summer Ashes series against England starting in November.
"He would be in contention for that. We'll see how he goes," Inverarity said.
"He played in some (Sheffield) Shield matches at the end of the last Australian summer, bowled well and took wickets, so we're just keen to see how he goes at international level."
Inverarity said Ahmed has an opportunity to be the limited-overs squad's lead spin bowler.
"Fawad has been a consistent wicket-taker on the Australia A tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa," he said.
"He is a very good and mature leg-spin bowler and the selection panel is keen to see how he fares in international competition."
Ahmed has played only 18 first-class matches, taking 56 wickets at 31.44 but has been on Australia A tours of Britain, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Allrounder Mitchell Marsh joined Doherty as a notable omission from the squad after being replaced by Steve Smith.
"Steve is a talented young stroke-maker who is steadily gaining confidence and has been impressive at times during the (ongoing) Ashes series and Australia A tour that preceded it," said Inverarity.
Mitchell Johnson has been recalled and fellow fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has overcome injury troubles to return to the international frame after a debut at 19 years of age in 2010.
Aaron Finch is included after playing five consecutive ODIs against the West Indies earlier this year, along with captaining Australia A.
"He has played and captained with considerable success and the selection panel looks forward to him continuing his form in England," he said.
The upcoming matches also represent a great opportunity for batsman Shaun Marsh, who has enjoyed good form for Australia A and is in sizzling one-day form.
He is viewed as a prime candidate to return at number three for Australia during the home Test summer against England.
The squad was chosen with next year's ICC World Twenty20 and the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup in mind, the chief selector said.
Australia play two T20s against England at the end of this month before the squad is trimmed to 15 players for the five ODIs against England and one against Scotland.
Australia - Michael Clarke (ODI captain), George Bailey (T20 captain), Fawad Ahmed, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.