Australian batsman Usman Khawaja has hit out at criticisms of him being a ‘lazy’ player, saying it is an example of racial stereotyping.
The Pakistan-born Khawaja became the first Muslim to play Test cricket for Australia when he made his debut in the summer of 2010-11, but currently finds himself on the outside looking in.
The 33-year-old is set to work a Cricket Australia group tasked with creating an action plan focused on greater cultural diversity in the game, and said Australia still has a way to go.
« 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 subcontinent people were seen as lazy, not doing the hard yards and whatnot, » he told cricket.com.au.
« 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 … »
Khawaja has been asked to join a Cricket Australia working group looking at increasing diversity in the game.
« When it comes to diversity … I think we’ve been OK at it but we’re still just not quite there, » he said.
« If you look at the landscape in terms of multicultural cricketers around, we’ve got a few subcontinental cricketers [but] we’ve still got a long way to go. »
Usman Khawaja, Australian Men’s Cricket Team, Cricket, Ethnic stereotype, Pakistan
Actu monde – AU – Khawaja says ‘lazy’ label result of racial stereotyping