Usman Khawaja’s brief career of short bursts might have come to an unceremonious end as Cricket Australia denied him a central contract announced a few weeks back. Khawaja last played for Australia in the third Test of the Ashes 2019 before he was dumped due to poor run of form. Concerning the same, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has opened up on his potential return.
Cricket Australia offered central contracts for the 2020-21 season to the likes of Ashton Agar and Marnus Labuschagne among 35 other players. Usman Khawaja, who was picked for the 2019 World Cup, couldn’t play in the semi-final due to hamstring injury, which Australia lost. When the left-hander returned for the Ashes, he found it challenging to handle the in-swinging deliveries by English bowlers. Khawaja’s highest score across three Tests was 36 before Labuschagne took his number three spot in whites for the national team.
Ricky Ponting wholly empathises with his situation; however, he candidly spoke that it is tough for him to make a return. The 45-year old always reckoned that the southpaw is a class player, but hardly displayed the consistency to solidify his spot. He did have the potential to play more games for Australia, but couldn’t.
“I honestly think now he’s going to find it difficult (to get back into the Australian team) and I feel for him. I’ve always felt he is a very good player and we never probably saw the absolute best of him at international cricket. We saw glimpses of it, and dribs and drabs, but not the consistently good player I thought he could have been for Australia.” Ponting said as quoted by Times of India.
Ponting refuses to write off Usman Khawaja:
Amid the odds against him, the Tasmanian hopes that the 33-year old can accumulate runs at the domestic circuit and break into the national team. Ponting believes that one can never write off great players and Usman Khawaja would have the opportunity with Queensland once cricket resumes to win back his spot.
“One thing, I know, you never write great players off. He’s got every opportunity once domestic cricket does start this summer, and all he can do is represent Queensland, get a truckload of runs under his belt and wait for another opportunity to come along. If it does, I’m sure he wouldn’t let anyone down if he gets a chance to play again.” the 168-Test veteran added.