In many ways, Usman Khawaja could hardly be more true blue Aussie. He grew up in a working class household just a cricket ball’s throw from the SCG. He played cricket in the park with his brothers every day. And his chief interests in life were — no prizes for guessing — cricket, cricket and cricket.
But in other ways, the country which his Pakistani parents Traiq and Fozia Khawaja adopted had a nasty way of telling the youngest Khawaja that he was never one of us.
Khawaja, who is now 30 and has played 24 Tests so far for Australia with a very healthy batting average of 45.47, was five-years-old and spoke no English (but fluent Urdu) when his family of five moved to Australia and rented a tiny two bedroom apartment in inner Sydney.
As he told the website Playersvoice.com.au this week, one day he saw the Australian cricketer Michael Slater drive past in his red Ferrari. “How good was Australia!” the impressionable youngster thought to himself. How good indeed.
Khawaja did not always have things easy as a kid. When his family shifted to western Sydney, he was often called a “f—ken curry muncher”, even though — as he rather amusingly points out — “I still don’t know how to actually munch curry”.
YOU CAN READ THE WHOLE USMAN KHAWAJA PIECE ON PLAYERSVOICE HERE. IT’S RIPPER STUFF.
Other times kids picked fights with him for no reason. Then came the rise of Pauline Hanson, who again set back his ability to feel part of the Australian community.
While that played out on the wider national stage, Khawaja experienced racial slurs from both players and parents as he rose through the junior cricket ranks, especially when he made runs. And while his natural instinct was to support the Australian cricket team, …read more
Source:: The Huffington Post – Australia