Toughest Call I have ever made as Cricketer”, Khawaja on leaving Sydney Thunder

Toughest Call I have ever made as Cricketer”, Khawaja on leaving Sydney Thunder

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25 Feb 2022
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Usman Khawaja, a Sydney Thunder key player, has opted out of the last year of his contract and will depart the team for family reasons.

Khawaja called it, “the biggest decision I’ve ever made as a cricketer”. He is about to welcome a second child with wife Rachel. In such a moment, he has decided to stay closer to his hometown in Brisbane. 

However, Brisbane Heat did not respond to queries about signing Usman Khawaja. This will be the 12th season of the BBL and first time when Khawaja will not play for Sydney Thunder. 

The Big Bash League clubs are presently constrained by the competition’s embargo period. According to this, teams are forbidden to sign new players on contracts.

The 35-year-old has been with the Thunder since the league’s start in 2011. He has scored  1818 runs in 59 games which is a record for any player in the Sydney Thunder team.

Sydney Thunder didn’t have a positive beginning in the BBL. In the first three seasons, they ended up being part of the points table. 

They surprisingly came out as the winners in the season fourth of the BBL. The reliable Khawaja played a heroic role in four games sealing the deal for the Thunders.

He scored two centuries, one in the decisive semi-final of 104 runs. Subsequently, in the final, his 70 runs at the MCG made the Sydney Thunder winner of the BBL. 

Here is excerpts from his statement:

“I hate talking about the decision I’ve made … It’s the toughest call I’ve made as a cricketer because Sydney Thunder, the players, the coaching and support staff, and the club’s supporters mean so much to me,”

“However, it is for family reasons, and while I’m leaving, people who know me realise a big part of my heart will always remain with Thunder. 

“I don’t want people to think I’ve cut my ties with Sydney Thunder because I’ll always care about the club, the players, the entire organisation.”

 “A part of that is because I believe I helped shape Thunder from the start. In many ways Sydney Thunder is, to me, like a baby I’ve watched grow and develop.”

Cricket NSW head, Michael Klinger said that retaining Khawaja was always priority because he is a foundational member of the team. 

Furthermore, the board has appreciated Khawaja’s decision and supports the decision for family. 


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