Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Usman Khawaja, Australia's first Muslim cricketer

Given how mad for cricket Australia's South Asian community are, it is only a matter of time before we see more of their presence in the national team. This week saw the debut of one promising youngster, Usman Khawaja. The 24-year-old lives in Sydney but was born in Islamabad, Pakistan. He is the first cricketer to represent Australia who is of Pakistani descent, and the first Muslim.

Khawaja is not the first person of South Asian descent to represent Australia, however. Dav Whatmore, born in Sri Lanka, had a short test career of 7 matches. Michael Bevan, also with some Sri Lankan heritage, played 18 tests and carved out a specialist career as one of the greatest one-day cricketers of all time.

Khawaja made a gritty 37 runs in his debut innings. He bats at number 3, often regarded as the most difficult place in the batting order, so the road ahead of him is not easy, but he is a highly rated talent. Time will tell if his talent has a full chance to express itself.

See also:
West Indians now more Indian than ever

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