Australian batter Usman Khawaja is one of the best batters in the team, especially in the red-ball format. Ever since his comeback to the Australian cricket team, Khawaja has been playing instrumental knocks. The latest of which came against South Africa. The southpaw scored 195* and had no issues when Pat Cummins declared the innings. In fact, Khawaja himself wanted to put South Africa into bat as there was not much time left in the match. Although the match ended in a draw, Australia put some real pressure on South Africa.
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This selfless gesture from Khawaja was lauded by everyone in the cricketing fraternity. The batter was also more than happy to do something of that sort for his team. Khawaja has become a vital cog in the Australian batting line-up and is expected to keep his position for a while. But it was not easy for the batter to find a spot in the national team at first. While Khawaja had tough competition from all corners, the batter has revealed that there was subconscious bias against him.
Khawaja, who is the first Muslim cricketer to represent Australia at the highest level, has made sensational claims of racial discrimination against him. The batter has claimed that during the early days of his playing career, he was ignored by white coaches because of his brown skin. Khawaja also remembered how he was given the nickname of "curry muncher".
"I found that really hard growing up, and I think that bit of resentment still sticks with a lot of young kids, particularly from ethnic backgrounds, that always get called names and racially vilified. ‘Curry muncher' is the one that sticks out to me the most. I used to get called that all the time," Sydney Morning Herald quoted Khawaja as saying.
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"At that high-performance level, you don't realize it but a lot of the coaches [and] selectors are white. There's subconscious bias. If you have two cricketers, one brown, one white, both the same, the white coach is going to pick the white cricketer just because he has a son that might look similar to him. It's what's familiar to him," said Khawaja.