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Fawad Ahmed Australian Muslim Sportsperson of the Year
Tuesday December 3, 2013 11:02 PM, IANS

Australian cricketer Fawad Ahmed won the prestigious Australian Muslim Sportsperson of the Year award at the 8th annual Australian Muslim Achievement Awards.

Cricket Australia (CA) Monday congratulated Ahmed on winning the prestigious award.

Ahmed expressed his joy at being named the sportsperson of the year, which caps off a great year for him.

"I am extremely humbled to be named the Australian Muslim Sportsperson of the Year. I am fortunate that Cricket Australia, Cricket Victoria and Melbourne University Cricket Club have helped me fulfil my dream in Australia and have embraced my history, tradition and religion," Ahmed said.

"I hope my story inspires other young people to achieve success on and off the field," he added.

The awards ceremony was held in Sydney Sunday night and was organised by Mission of Hope, that acknowledges the contribution of members of the Muslim community in Australia.

Ahmed beat Sydney Roosters NRL player Sonny Bill Williams and Richmond AFL player Bachar Houli to take out the coveted award.

It has been a big year for Ahmed, who debuted for Australia in both One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals against England earlier this year. In three ODIs he took three wickets, and in two Twenty20 Internationals took three wickets, including best figures of three for 25.

On the Australia A Tour of Africa in July and August, Ahmed led the wickets in the three and four-day matches with 15 wickets in three matches at 22.66, and in eight Bupa Sheffield Shield matches for the Commonwealth Bank Bushrangers so far in the 2013 calendar year he has taken 30 wickets at 31.03.

Ahmed also has had numerous successes off the field, most significantly July 10 when he became an Australian citizen, which completed a remarkable journey.

CA Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said he was thrilled for Ahmed.

"To see the strength of candidates in the field shows the immense impact Ahmed has had on the many Muslim communities across Australia," Sutherland said.

"It shows that Fawad has achieved outstanding things both on and away from the cricket pitch, and we are very proud of him."

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