Melbourne: Usman Khawaja is all set to split with his long-term manager Daniel Zammit after the latter had supported the batsman's controversial axing from the Australian team for the third Test against India, starting in Mohali Thursday.
According to report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Khawaja, one of the four players axed for the third Test, is seeking an early exit from his arrangement with his Sydney-based agent Zammit, who also manages rugby league players. The report added that Khawaja, who was already seeking to part ways with his manager, was furious with Zammit's statement in an radio interview that cricket lagged behind the NRL in professionalism.
"I dare a young rugby league player to say 'I forgot' (to do my homework). Hell and damnation would come down on their heads," Zammit had said in an interview after the four cricketers were suspended for not submitting a presentation after Australia's humiliating defeats in the first two Tests in India. "(But) cricket is different, you're pushing against the ocean. (Professional cricketers) have been taught from a very young age they are special.
"We shouldnt be surprised by what happened in India, cricket has considered itself separate to other sports." Meanwhile, Trevor Hohns, the chairman of selectors of Queensland - Khawaja's state team - has stood behind the batsman in his crisis hour and doesn't believe the 26-year-old would have knowingly put his Test comeback in jeopardy.
"Since Ussie (Khawaja) has been in Queensland, he has certainly done everything asked of him. He's worked very hard on his game, he's fitted in nicely with the group and the environment. We couldn't be happier with him," said Hohns, the former chairman of selectors of Australia. "Knowing him for the short time that I have, I can't imagine he would do anything to damage his prospects of playing in a Test match for Australia on purpose."