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‘Was told I had no chance of playing for Australia as I’m not the right skin colour’ – Usman Khawaja

Khawaja was born in Islamabad and was five years old when his family decided to settle in Australia.

Usman Khawaja
Usman Khawaja (Source: Twitter)

Usman Khawaja is the first Muslim cricketer to represent Australia in international cricket. The southpaw made his debut back in 2011 at the Sydney Cricket Ground and has played 44 Tests since then. The southpaw made some shocking revelations about facing racism in Australia post moving out of Pakistan in the early 1990s. In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Khawaja revealed that he was told he had no chance of playing for Australia as he doesn’t have the right skin colour.

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“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

The elegant batsman was born in Islamabad and was five years old when his family decided to settle in Australia. Khawaja further revealed that initially he did not support Australia as he couldn’t emotionally connect with the team ( because of the numerous racist incidents he faced) but added that his involvement with the Australian team turned him and his family into Australian supporters.

“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.

“But 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 Khawaja.

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