MELBOURNE – Australia batsman Usman Khawaja was mistaken for a Pakistani player on Tuesday by officials at the Gabba ahead of the Brisbane Test against Pakistan, which starts on Thursday.
Shortly before confronting the media, Khawaja was looking for access to the team’s dressing room at the Gabba when a Queensland Cricket official approached him.
The 29-year-old cricketer asked to have the change rooms unlocked and the official in question started heading towards the visitors’ rooms.
“I was like ‘oh man. No, I’m that way, thank you’,” he recalled at a press conference.
Khawaja was born in Islamabad but moved to Australia before his fifth birthday and made his Test debut in 2011. Ironically, he also skippers Queensland Bulls cricket team, which is based in Brisbane.
However, Khawaja admitted that even though Pakistan is still “a very big part” of him, his allegiance lies with Australia.
“If I broke it down, the way I act and what I do is very Australian, but there’s always parts of me, especially when I talk to my parents, I try to speak Urdu with them here and there,” he said.
“It’s not as good as them, but it is a big part of my life when I’m with my parents and around my parents,” he added.
In 2013, Khawaja was part of ‘homework-gate’ issue when he was dropped from the side for failing to complete a written task by then coach Mickey Arthur, who now coaches Pakistan. However, the left-handed batsman said that the past is “water under the bridge”.
“I’m not spiteful or vengeful in that sort of respect. Mickey is a very good guy,” he said.
“I’m not the kind of guy who holds on to grudges. If I get into a fight or I get angry with someone I’m over it [quickly], usually anyway.
“I’m sure if I see Mickey there’ll be no issues, it’ll be fine, everything will be good,” he added.-Online