Sydney - Rugby great David Campese was criticised for "bigoted" comments about
Pakistan-born spin bowler Fawad Ahmed by Cricket Australia chief
executive James Sutherland on Friday.
Ahmed received permission
from Cricket Australia to not wear a beer company logo on his uniform
due to his Muslim faith. Campese, retired after 101 rugby Tests for
Australia, said Ahmed should "go home" if he did not want to wear the
sponsor's logo on his playing shirt.
Earlier, former Test
cricketer Doug Walters was quoted in Australian media as saying: "I
think if he doesn't want to wear the team gear, he should not be part of
Campese then wrote on Twitter: "Doug Walters tells
Pakistan-born Fawad Ahmed: if you don't like the ... uniform, don't play
for Australia Well said doug. Tell him to go home."
fled Pakistan in 2009 to seek asylum in Australia and gained fast-track
citizenship in July, was picked for Australia's five-match limited-overs
series in England after he made his debut in the Twenty20 series last
"We were the ones that raised it with Fawad to ensure he was
comfortable, knowing his religious background and where alcohol fits in
with that," Sutherland told Fairfax Media on Friday.
Australian cricket community has welcomed him and we're very proud to
have him," Sutherland said, adding that he had been dismayed at the
"opportunism on some people's parts to reflect bigoted views."
Campese's initial tweet, he said he didn't care about Ahmed's religion
but objected to his beliefs affecting sport in general.
said: "Well why did he come to Aussie for in the first place. A better
life? Now he is telling people what he wants.! .... a lot more kids who
would love to play for Australia. And they would t complain," Campese
The 50-year-old Campese once held the world record for the most tries in Test matches with 64.
He was voted player of the tournament at the 1991 Rugby World Cup after scoring six tries to help lead Australia to the title.