Usman Khwaja
Usman Khwaja (Image Credit: Twitter)

Australian batsman Usman Khawaja has made startling revelations about the racism that he faced during his formative years after he and his family moved to Australia in the 1990s.

Khawaja was just five years old when his family made the move from Islamabad to Australia.

The left-hander, who has featured in 44 Tests, became the first Muslim cricketer to play international cricket for Australia when he made his Test debut during the New Year Ashes match in the summer of 2011.

In a conversation with ESPNCricinfo, Khawaja revealed how always got told in Australia that he will never play cricket for his adopted country because he didn’t have the ‘right skin color’

”When I was younger in Australia, the amount of time I got told I was never going to play for Australia, I’m not the right skin colour was immense. I’d get told I don’t fit the team, and they wouldn’t pick me. That was the mentality, but now it’s starting to shift.” said Khawaja.

Usman Khawaja
Usman Khawaja. Image credits-

Khawaja further revealed that when he started playing for his adopted nation, not only his family but people from the subcontinent heritage started supporting Australia.

“When I started being more involved in cricket, people with subcontinent heritage in Australia came up to me and said, “we’re so happy to see you at the top. Seeing someone like you, we feel we’ve got a part in the Australian team, and we support the Australian team. We didn’t do it before, and we do it now,” said the Pakistan-born Australian cricketer.

“And that kept happening over and over and over again. The more that happened, I realised my background does matter, and it does make a difference. And then I realised from my childhood it probably took me a while to support Australia. I didn’t really support Australia when I first went [from Pakistan] because I didn’t really get it,” he added.

The Australian batter has thus far featured in 44 Tests, 40 ODIs, and 9 T20Is for Australia in his decade-long career and he has managed a total of 4682 runs ( Tests- 2887, ODIs- 1554, T20s- 241) with a total of 26 50s and 10 100s.

He last featured for Australia during the 2019 World Cup.

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Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.