Pakistani-born Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja has decided not to miss the historic Pakistan tour for the birth of his second child, it emerged on Tuesday.
Usman Khawaja is prepared to make an enormous personal sacrifice to play in Pakistan, according to a report published in The Sydney Morning Herald.
The tour — which will be Australia’s first in 24 years — is set to start and end in Rawalpindi with the opening Test to be played from March 4-8 and the four white-ball matches to be played from March 29 to April 5. Australia last toured Pakistan in 1998 when Mark Taylor’s team recorded a 1-0 win in the three-Test series.
Talking to the publication, Khawaja said that he had a conversation with his wife about what happens if they had a baby mid-Test match. He said, “She’s very understanding.”
Praising his wife, Khawaja said, “She knows I love playing cricket, it’s very important to me, she’s very supportive of that, and she knows I try to support her any way I can.”
“It’s going to take me a lot to come back, it is Test cricket for Australia. I’m sort of not thinking about it because I don’t want it to happen, but ask me if it does happen,” he added.
Australia announces full-strength squad for Pakistan tour
Earlier today, Cricket Australia (CA) has named a full-strength squad for their first tour to Pakistan in 24 years, with Ashton Agar the only addition from the extended group of players that won the Ashes.
Mitch Marsh, Josh Inglis, and Mitchell Swepson have all been named in an 18-man squad for the historic three-Test tour of Pakistan.
According to the Australian website Cricket.com.au, the fact that no Test players have pulled out is a vote of confidence for the tour arrangements in Pakistan.
Thorough security assessments were conducted by the security experts hired by the Australian board before the tour was given the go-ahead.
“Clearly there is some anxiety about the tour, which I think is perfectly natural given an Australian team hasn’t toured Pakistan for almost 25 years, “Australian Cricketers’ Association chief Todd Greenberg told SEN on Monday.
“We may have one or two players who won’t be comfortable despite all of the advice and guidance that we provide. Along with Cricket Australia, we’ll need to respect those players and give them our full support if they decide not to make this tour.”
Australia Test squad:
Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner