Article
Usman Khawaja Faced Racism In His Childhood Days
By CricShots - Oct 9, 2017 10:13 am
Views 25
Khawaja
Usman Khawaja

Australian batsman Usman Khawaja has revealed that he faced a lot of racism while growing up in Sydney and it forced him to support other countries rather than back Australian sports teams.

In a recent blog post on the PlayersVoice website (playersvoice.com.au), Khawaja said that racial abuse was widespread on the playing field during his junior days and he also blamed it for diminishing his sporting ambitions. He said, “Getting sledged by opposition players and their parents was the norm. Some of them said it just quietly enough for only me to hear. It still hurt, but I would never show it. Most of the time it was when I scored runs. Some parents take things too seriously.”

He further added, “It is for this reason why so many of my friends, most of whom were born outside Australia, didn’t support Australia in sporting contests. I didn’t either. Especially in cricket. It was either West Indies, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka. Anyone else.”

The southpaw is the first Muslim to play Test cricket for Australia and he has scored 1,728 runs in his 24 Tests at a staggering average of 45.47 and is likely to be selected at number three for the upcoming Ashes series against England. Talking about the same, he wrote, “In hindsight, the fact we didn’t support Australia is disappointing. Everything that was going on in our childhood and around us built up this resentment of the Australian cricket team. I mean, none of them looked like us.

Talking more about his childhood, Khawaja wrote, “In hindsight, the fact we didn’t support Australia is disappointing. Everything that was going on in our childhood and around us built up this resentment of the Australian cricket team. I mean, none of them looked like us. I was brought up to be respectful, humble and polite. But when I watched the Aussie team, I saw men who were hard-nosed, confident, almost brutish. The same type of men who would sledge me about my heritage growing up.”

Khawaja concluded by crediting his “strong-willed” family and his own competitive nature for his international breakthrough, he said, “There is no doubt racism and politics played a large role in selections in the past. Certainly cricket and society has come a long way. Now sub-continental parents can see a future for their kids, at a younger age.”

×