Usman Khawaja On Returning To His Birth Nation, “The fact that I’m playing Pakistan is special”

Usman Khawaja On Returning To His Birth Nation, “The fact that I’m playing Pakistan is special”

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01 Mar 2022
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Australia vs Pakistan

Usman Khawaja has come to the Australian squad to take part in the test match series against Pakistan.

He is Australia’s first Pakistani-born Test cricketer. Surprising as it looks, he is returning to his birth country to play against Pakistan. 

It is a momentous moment not just for Khawaja, but also for Pakistan players and deprived fans who have only seen their idols play on home soil. After a tragic attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in 2009, the nation was avoided as cricket games.

Khawaja was born in Islamabad and played  cricket matches in Rawalpindi. The first match of the tour will be played in Rawalpindi which begins on Friday.

As a youngster, when he went home for a four-week visit, he donned thigh pads as cricket pads and spent countless hours playing cricket as passionate youngsters do.

During an interview, Khawaja said, “The fact that I’m playing Pakistan is special, don’t get me wrong, it’s special, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

“I grew up down the road, so there is that bit of sentiment definitely, but when the game starts you don’t really think about that stuff. You’re more worried about the ball coming down – the Test match happens like that.”

“I’m sure when I look back on it and think that’s pretty cool – the first tour of Pakistan after so many years, being born in Pakistan, as fate would have it, everything’s worked out beautifully, touch wood.”

Khawaja also mentions his thoughts on being admired by fans in Pakistan. He is such a respected player with a quite generous nature.

“I think they’ll support me. I think they’ll be hoping I get runs. But I think they’ll be hoping Australia gets smashed at the same time, it’s going to be one of those catch 22s.

“It’s pretty special. I know where the Rawalpindi ground is. I think I’ve got a couple of photos of when I was younger at the Old Rawalpindi Ground.

“Being born here, I think it’s going to be pretty cool walking out there, playing a game, but I don’t expect a hostile crowd. Pakistanis love their cricket, they appreciate good cricket, and I think that’s what they’ll be hoping for,” he added.

Khawaja downplayed the significance of his homecoming in the same way he downplayed his match-saving effort against Pakistan in the UAE, where he hit a 141 runs.

 

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