The 36-year-old Australia National Cricket Team batter Usman Khawaja has made a bold statement on racism in Australian cricket and accused Cricket Australia (CA) of being racially biased in the selections.
The Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja made his international cricket debut for Australian National Cricket Team in the 2011 Test against England National Cricket Team in Sydney. Since then, he has represented the Aussies in 56 Tests, 40 ODIs and 9 T20Is. Notably, Khawaja is the only South Asian-born player in the history of Australian cricket to represent the country in Tests.
Speaking to Sydney Morning Herald, Khawaja revealed that he was not a supporter of Team Australia growing up until he was about 14-15 years. He also claimed that racial bias continues to impact the game in Australia and nothing has changed in the last decade.
“That’s where I’m trying to work with Cricket Australia saying, ‘Look, guys … you invest a lot of money into this, but something’s not going right. You’ve been doing it for 10 years and nothing’s changed,” Khawaja said.
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There’s subconscious bias – Usman Khawaja
Usman Khawaja was further asked about the real problem to which he responded that Cricket Australia is filled with white personnel who tend to pick only white cricketers.
“There’s subconscious bias. If you have two cricketers, one brown, one white, both the same, the white coach is going to pick the white cricketer just because he has a son that might look similar to him. It’s what’s familiar to him.”
Asked if a lack of diversity at the highest level has held him back, Khawaja replied:
“There’s been plenty of times I should’ve been picked for teams and I wasn’t. But it just made me have a bigger chip on my shoulder.”
“We’ve come a long. But I’ll keep doing it because I want people to know what it’s like.”
Notably, last month, Khawaja took to Twitter to reveal that despite being a well-known cricketer he was regularly stopped by security to have his credentials checked.
“I got stopped 3 times last year at our hotel, while in Australian kit and asked if I was with the Australian Cricket team…,” he wrote.
You get use to it. I got stopped 3 times last year at our hotel, while in Australian Kit and asked if I was with the Australian Cricket team… 🤦🏾♂️#youdontlookaustralian😂 #orsotheysay https://t.co/XSpsX0KXdL
— Usman Khawaja (@Uz_Khawaja) December 25, 2022