Fawad respects Campo's right to free speech

Australia

Australia spinner Fawad Ahmed has reacted with grace to the comments made against him by Doug Walters and David Campese, saying the beauty of living in a country like Australia was the recognition of free speech.

Australia spinner Fawad Ahmed has reacted with grace to the comments made against him by Doug Walters and David Campese, saying the beauty of living in a country like Australia was the recognition of free speech.

Walters, a former Oz batsman and Campese, a legendary rugby player, both criticised Ahmed's request not to wear beer sponsor VB's logo on his shirt. Cricket Australia were accepting of Fawad's religious request, but the Campese went so far as to tell Ahmed to 'go home'.

The leg-spinner was refugee from Pakistan until recently, when he was granted Australian citizenship and given the chance to play for his new country. He was grateful to CA for sticking up for him in the wake of the comments.

The diplomatic spinner said: "I know they [Walters and Campese] are both legends and I still respect them. This is a free country, everyone has their own opinion and they can say anything.

"I didn't agree with their opinion, that's a different thing, but I will respect them, and in this country everyone has a right to free speech. They can say what they want to say, and on that occasion I think it is something new for a country like Australia.

"We are not a big population the Muslims, about 1.8%, so it was a different kind of thing, and CA was amazing, they really helped and supported me. This is an amazing country, if you are performing well in any field of life you will get a chance and people will definitely support you."

Tasmania and Australia batsman Ed Cowan was impressed with his Oz team mate's attitude and abilities, saying leg-spinners were like 'gold dust' and Fawad deserved to get more game time with the national side.

Cowan said in the wake of Tassie's defeat to Victoria, where Fawad took four wickets for Vics: "It's great to see a legspinner in domestic cricket with control and ability to turn the ball.

"As Stuart MacGill did for NSW in one day domestic cricket, legspinners are gold dust, because they can clean up a tail and take wickets through the middle overs. So it is really exciting to see a high quality legspinner here and hopefully pushing for consistent international honours."

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