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Australia's Usman Khawaja Reveals He Was Seen as 'Lazy' Due to Sub-continental Roots

While Michael Holding, Jofra Archer and Justin Langer make their opinions about incidents in the game, Australia’s Usman Khawaja added to the conversation, pointing to a perception of him being ‘lazy’ because of his ethnicity.

Australia's Usman Khawaja Reveals He Was Seen as 'Lazy' Due to Sub-continental Roots

Racism in cricket is not a topic that is about to peter away in the recent future. While Michael Holding, Jofra Archer and Justin Langer make their opinions about incidents in the game, Australia’s Usman Khawaja added to the conversation, pointing to a perception of him being ‘lazy’ because of his ethnicity.

Only last week did Cricket Australia open a probe after it was revealed that Dan Christian was exposed to racist remarks when he spoke about the casual racism he has experienced in Australian cricket.

“I always had that ‘lazy’ undertone when I was growing up and I think part of that was my relaxed nature but part of it was also because I was Pakistani, and sub-continent people were seen as lazy, not doing the hard yards and whatnot,” Khawaja was quoted as saying in cricketc.com.au.

The southpaw who is admired for his elegant batting said, “Running has never been natural to me, so when we used to do lots of fitness testing I wasn’t as good as everyone else. When you put that against where I was from, that did play against me. I like to think we’re starting to move on from that, but there’s definitely still that undertone ... I still hear (similar stereotypes), if someone’s a bit different.’’

Born in Pakistan, Khawaja, moved Down Under when he was five years old and since has gone on to play a crucial role for Australia in Test cricket.

Khawaja, who has 10 international centuries under his belt, is set to join Cricket Australia (CA) working group tasked with creating an action plan focusing on inclusion and greater cultural diversity within Australian cricket.

Also Read: 'Frank chat' With Justin Langer Helped Angry Usman Khawaja Find Focus

“The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realised that when it comes to diversity -- especially in cricket in general -- I think we’ve been OK at it but we’re still just not quite there,” Khawaja said.

“If you look at the landscape in terms of multicultural cricketers around, we’ve got a few subcontinental cricketers -- myself, Gurinder (Sandhu), Arjun Nair, Jason Sangha and Tanveer Sangha coming up through the ranks ... (but) we’ve still got a long way to go,” he added.

Khawaja hopes that Australian cricket has more role models who can be looked upon by the children from different ethnic backgrounds.

“When you come from a subcontinental family - all of Asia, really - studying is very important. My mum wanted me to stop playing cricket and study, and that happens a lot to guys my age coming through the ranks,” he said.

“Generally with the sub-continent community I know how important that is to mums and dads, so we need to emphasise that, especially with technology these days and studying from distance, there’s no reason why you can’t do both, so long as you have the discipline and you’re prepared to make a lot of sacrifices along the way, Khawaja added.

“Kids need to be given support, we need to talk openly and let them know that, ‘Hey, you’re not the only person going through this, we’ve been through this, we’ve seen this, we’ve dealt with it and we’ve pushed on. You can do the same thing,” he further said.



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RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
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