Case Of Mistaken Identity: When A Local Lady Thought Usman Khawaja To Be Pakistani
Just two days prior to the start of the first Test match at Adelaide, Usman Khawaja was made to recall his native place, Pakistan, where he was born and brought for first four and a half years of his life. The incident happened when Usman Khawaja was wrongly taken as a Pakistani Player by the local Authority.
Khawaja himself revealed the incident during an interaction with the media prior to the start of the historic Test match. He narrated the story when the authority took him as a member of visitors team i.e. Pakistan, “I don’t think (it’s special), I haven’t thought about it that way – maybe for my parents because they grew up in Pakistan and were there for a long time,” he said.
“Obviously I was born there, so it’s a very close part of me.”
“Actually, funnily enough, I was waiting downstairs and I needed the changeroom locker to be opened for us. I was just waiting and the Queensland Cricket lady came down. She was like, ‘Oh, you need the locker rooms open?’ I went ‘yes please’ and she started walking to the Pakistani change room. I was like, ‘No, I’m that way (pointing), thank you’. I came (to Australia) around four-and-a-half (years of age),” Khawaja recalled.
That incident pushed him in nostalgic feeling for some time, “I’ve had glimpses of memories from before I left. I was born in Islamabad. So I have glimpses of memories of our old place and whatnot, but nothing too substantial … most of my childhood memories revolve around being in Australia, being in Sydney.
“Culture is very important, as is religion … (culture) not as important as religion obviously.
“My parents are Australian but they’re also very Pakistani. If I broke it down, the way I act and what I do is very Australian, but there are always parts of me when I talk to my parents I still at times try to speak Urdu here and there,” Khawaja added.
Khawaja became the first ever Muslim player to play for Australia when he made his Test debut in Sydney Test in 2011. Later, Fawad Ahmed, the leg-spinner who has played first-class cricket in Pakistan followed his footsteps and also played for Australia. But he had a short international career. Though he is still vying to make comeback but faces a stiff competition from Adam Zampa. Once, Damien Martyn, after facing Ahmed in the nets, rated him as the best leg-spinner in the country.
Coming to the much-anticipated Test series between Pakistan and Australia, the first Test match of the series will be played at Brisbane with a pink ball before the action turns to Melbourne Cricket Stadium for the Boxing Day Test match. The Test action wraps up with the final encounter at Sydney Cricket Ground. A series of five One-Day encounters will follow the Test series.
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