As Cricket Australia (CA) posted the picture of players standing barefoot in a circle to support the eradication of racism from society, Usman Khawaja appreciated the initiative but stated that there is still a long way to go in terms of inclusivity of races.
CA had announced that their players would stand barefoot ahead of the series against India to make a statement against racism and a celebration of the Indigenous culture in Australia. Notably, the Australian men are following the lead of the national women’s team who formed a barefoot circle with New Zealand players in Brisbane ahead of the limited-overs series in last September.
Usman Khawaja, who has Pakistani roots, added that everyone should be proud of their heritage just like he is.
“Love the initiative from CA and women’s team to lead the charge. Just like I’m proud of where my family came from, so should everyone else. Australian cricket still has a long way to go. But hopefully we are all heading in the right direction,” Khawaja tweeted.
Love the initiative from CA and women's team to lead the charge. Just like I'm proud of where my family came from, so should everyone else. Australian cricket still has a long way to go. But hopefully we are all heading in the right direction! #inclusivity 🙏🏾 https://t.co/sBZztpnu3W
— Usman Khawaja (@Uz_Khawaja) November 17, 2020
The Australian men’s side will also wear a special jersey during the T20I series against India to recognize the aboriginal people of Australia, and encourage their involvement in the game.
Usman Khawaja has faced racial remarks:
Usman Khawaja was born in Pakistan but was brought up in Australia. He had earlier opened up on facing certain stereotypes like being lazy and slow in the field due to his origins.
“I always had that ‘lazy’ undertone when I was growing up, and I think part of that was my relaxed nature, but part of it was also because I was Pakistani, and subcontinent people were seen as lazy. Running has never been natural to me, so when we used to do lots of fitness testing, I wasn’t as good as everyone else. When you put that against where I was from, that did play against me,” Usman Khawaja had revealed earlier.
So far, he has played 44 Tests, 40 ODIs and 9 T20Is for Australia.