CA call Campese's Fawad comments 'bigoted'

Australia

Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland has leapt to the defence of spinner Fawad Ahmed, after former Aussie rugby player David Campese told the Pakistan-born player to 'go home' if he didn't like beer logos on his kit.

Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland has leapt to the defence of spinner Fawad Ahmed, after former Aussie rugby player David Campese told the Pakistan-born player to 'go home' if he didn't like beer logos on his kit.

Muslim Ahmed was allowed not to wear the VB logo on his Australia gear, like Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir are allowed for South Africa, but Campese took offence to this and Tweeted in response to comments made by former cricketer Doug Walters.

Walters had said in the Telegraph: "I think if he doesn't want to wear the team gear, he should not be part of the team. Maybe if he doesn't want to be paid that's OK."

Campese commented on this with a Tweet that read: "Doug Walters tells Pakistan-born Fawad Ahmed: if you don't like the VB uniform, don't play for Australia Well said doug. Tell him to go home."

Ahmed recently got his Australia citizenship after being a political refugee from Pakistan, and Sutherlands said anyone who qualified to play for the Baggy Green was already home, and called Campese's comments 'bigoted'.

Sutherland said: "Fawad is an Australian cricketer, he is as entitled as anyone to represent his country. He was made a citizen in July, he has a passport, he has chosen Australia as his home for very good reasons.

"The Australian cricket community has welcomed him and we're very proud to have him. He then condemned the "opportunism on some people's parts to reflect bigoted views.

"He is a cricketer who has religious beliefs and he is an Australian. Irrespective of cultural background or religious beliefs, if you are Australian you are eligible to play cricket for Australia and if you're good at cricket we want you in our team."

Sutherland then added that it was in fact CA that asked Ahmed about the logo, and not the other way around, as they knew of his religious beliefs and the precedent set by the Proteas.

The boss added: "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."

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