Sydney: “There’s subconscious bias”, Australian red-ball opener Usman Khawaja has accused Cricket Australia of being biased in their selections. The left-hander 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 how he did not support the Australian side growing up until he was about 14-15 years. The 36-year-old claimed that the racial landscape in the country has not changed a bit in the last 10 years.
“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.
When asked about where might the root of the problem be, Khawaja responded by saying, “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.”
Khawaja was born in Pakistan and moved to Sydney at a young age. Khawaja has played in 56 tests, 40 ODIs and 9 T20Is in his career for Australia. Made his international debut way back in 2011 in Sydney at number three in an Ashes test match as a replacement for injured Ricky Ponting.
Despite being an established Australian international, Khawaja claims that he has been stopped regularly by security for getting his credentials checked in the middle of the series.
On Christmas day last year, Khawaja took to Twitter about the incident he experienced and wrote “I got stopped 3 times last year at our hotel, while in Australian kit and asked if I was with the Australian Cricket team…”
Khawaja has scored 1080 runs at an average of 67.50 in the 2022 calendar year.
According to the The Sydney Morning Herald report, in one episode of the second season of the Amazon Prime Video series The Test, which is to be released on January 13, Khawaja is seen visiting a Muslim school in Brisbane, sharing his experiences of racism and helping to inspire students to give cricket a go.
The Australian cricket team’s journey of redemption from the ball-tampering scandal to a successful defence of the Ashes was turned into the docu-series, which included unseen dressing room footage.
The Season 1 of the eight-part series titled ‘The Test: A New Era for Australia’s Team’, featured behind-the-scenes footage of Australia’s first-ever Test series loss to India on home soil, the World Cup semifinal exit and the Ashes defence after that.