Left-handed batsman Usman Khawaja is born in Pakistan and moved to Sydney as a young child and is first Muslim to play for Australia.
SYDNEY: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News—Sept 16th, 2020) Australia batsman Usman Khawaja said criticism on him as “lazy player” was rooted in racial stereotypes and thought cricket needed to do more to attract players from more ethnically diverse backgrounds.
Left-handed batsman Usman Khawaja was born in Pakistan and moved to Sydney as a young child. He is the first Muslim to play for Australia when he made his test debut in the final match of the 2010-2011 Ashes series.
“The people of subcontinent people were seen as lazy, not doing the hard yards and whatnot,” said Usman Khawaja.
He further said: “Running has never been natural to me, so when we used to do lots of fitness testing I wasn’t as good as everyone else. When you put that against where I was from, that did play against me,”.
He said that he liked to think they were starting to move on from that but there was definitely still that undertone.
“When it comes to diversity ... I think we’ve been okay at it but we’re still just not quite there,” said Usman Khawaja, adding that if he looks at the landscape in terms of multicultural cricketers around he had gotten a few subcontinental cricketers but they had still gotten a long way to go.
The 33-year-old said that attracting players with similar backgrounds to his would require convincing their parents that they could get an education while playing the game, and doing more to support the youngsters at the grassroots.
“The racism has been both overt and casual but I had the confidence to speak up when something didn’t feel right, and I know not everyone does,” Khawaja added.