Ahmed, Voges included in Ashes squad

Pakistani-born legspinner Fawad Ahmed and batsman Adam Voges have been summoned into Australia’s squad for Test tours of the West Indies and England.

Ahmed beat out 21-year-old Western Australia spinner Ashton Agar, who burst on to the scene in the last Ashes series in England by scoring 98 on debut at No.11.

Stalwart quick Peter Siddle, meanwhile, has not been offered a new contract.

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Siddle was dropped from the Australian team for the second Test against India, but was included in the touring squad.

NSW wicketkeeper Peter Nevill has been named as Brad Haddin’s back-up while batsman Shaun Marsh gets another crack at Test cricket after being included in the 17-man squad.

Marsh’s inclusion comes at the expense of Queenslander Joe Burns, who was overlooked despite scoring two half-centuries in Australia’s last Test, against India in January.

Ahmed, who sought asylum in Australia after fleeing Pakistan in 2010, has been rewarded for a stellar domestic summer when he topped the Sheffield Shield wicket-taking list with 48 wickets.

And Voges, at age 35, was named after scoring more runs than any Sheffield Shield batsman this summer.

“Adam Voges and Fawad Ahmed had sensational seasons at domestic level and their performances just couldn’t be ignored,” national selection panel chairman Rod Marsh said in a statement on Tuesday.

“They thoroughly deserve their call-up and the opportunity to be a part of this squad.

“Adam had one of the great seasons in Sheffield Shield history. He is an experienced player and quality character who will add talent and leadership to the touring party.

“Fawad has worked incredibly hard on his game and has demonstrated throughout the season that he can be a consistent wicket taker.”

Paceman Ryan Harris will miss the two-Test series in the West Indies starting June 5 to remain in Australia as his partner gives birth to their first child.

Harris will join the Test squad for the five-Test Ashes series which starts in England on July 8.

Ahmed and Voges have been selected despite missing out on Cricket Australia (CA) contracts for the 2015/16 season.

CA announced on Tuesday it had contracted 19 players, one more than last season, with paceman Peter Siddle missing a deal but being named for the Test tours.

Emerging fast bowlers Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood and allrounder Mitchell Marsh won contracts.

Dropping off the contract list were Siddle and deceased batsman Phil Hughes.

Touring squad: Michael Clarke (capt), Steve Smith (vice-capt), Fawad Ahmed, Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, David Warner, Shane Watson.

Contracted players: George Bailey, Michael Clarke, Patrick Cummins, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Chris Rogers, Mitchell Starc, Steve Smith, David Warner, Shane Watson.

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