AUS Vs PAK: “Ready To Quit Test Cricket Today..”- Usman Khawaja


Usman Khawaja

Australia’s Opening batter Usman Khawaja who is currently on duty with the national side for a 3-match Test series at home against Pakistan, made a funny claim about quitting Test cricket if anyone comes and offers him a “truckload of money” to play the shortest format of the game – T20 cricket, a format which is slowly and steadily erasing the importance of red-ball cricket.

He made these comments in light of the South African cricket board’s decision to send a 3rd string team for a 2-match test series in New Zealand next month with the 1st test slated to commence on February 4. CSA’s decision has become a massive subject of criticism from several former cricketers and expert analysts.

While Indian bowling legend Venkatesh Prasad hoped that it wouldn’t go on to become a trend or norm (to snub Tests for franchise leagues), former captain of Australia Steve Waugh asked if this is the beginning of the death of Test cricket. Waugh even claimed that if he was in charge of New Zealand then he would happily cancel the tour in response to South Africa’s disrespectful gesture towards Tests.

Both of the former cricketers openly questioned CSA’s mindset behind sending a team half-filled with uncapped players and dropping all of its senior players for the 2nd edition of South Africa’s domestic franchise league, the SA T20, which is slated to begin on January 10th.

South Africa’s most experienced player from that squad is Duanne Olivier, a right-arm fast bowler who has played only 15 tests but picked up 57 wickets at a decent average of 21.93. Left-hand batting All-Rounder Neil Brand who has never played an International match has been made the Captain of the side.

Moreover, only 2 players from the current Proteas squad selected for the 2 tests against India have made it to the team – David Bedingham and Keegan Petersen, 2 players who have played a combined number of 13 Tests.

“It Is Also About Looking After Your Family”, Usman Khawaja Opines On Players Snubbing Test Cricket

While speaking to the Morning Herald, Usman Khawaja stated that if he was a player from another nation and was getting a mad amount of money to play T20 then he would too snub test cricket to help fulfill the desires of his family.

“If I was a player from another nation and getting paid ok to play international cricket, I’m getting paid a truckload more to play T20 cricket, I’m sorry but I’m going to be playing the T20 cricket. Not because it doesn’t mean anything – I love playing for my country, but it is also a case of looking after your family, doing things right.” – Usman Khawaja said. 

The 37-year-old further claimed that it is very difficult for players to choose a firm offering double the amount of money being offered by another firm to do the same job. “If two people get paid to do the same job and you’re getting paid twice as much at one firm and half at the other firm, you’re going to pick the one you’re getting paid for.” – Usman Khawaja added. 

Usman Khawaja Demands All World Cricketing Bodies To Come Forward And Incentivize Test Cricket

The left-hand batter who has scored 5177 runs in the red-ball format, has claimed that the smaller cricket board needs to find a way of incentivizing test cricket so that players get the motivation of playing the format. He asked for all big cricketing bodies around the world to come forward and figure a way out for it.

“We’ve got to figure out a way for them [other countries] to be incentivized to play international and particularly Test cricket. Once you can get on top of that, if you see a massive shortfall for say the Windies, they’re struggling, they’re not bringing in enough money, then world cricket needs to gather round to help.” – Usman Khawaja concluded. 

In context, last year, the world of football experienced something similar when some big footballing names like Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema snubbed European Football (known as the Mecca of the sport) to join Saudi Arabian clubs on big money deals.

Therefore, it is not anything new in the world of sports, definitely new for Cricket but going forward just like Usman Khawaja mentioned World Cricket needs to come together and find a solution for it.

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