Usman Khawaja, the talented Australian batsman of Pakistani origin, has been honored with the prestigious title of Test Cricketer of the Year by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
This recognition comes on the heels of Khawaja’s stellar performance in the past year, where he amassed a remarkable 1,210 runs in 13 matches for the Australian team. His consistency and skill were evident in his batting average of 52.60 across 24 innings, with a noteworthy high score of 195 not out.
While Khawaja made his Test debut for Australia in 2011, it is in the recent years that he has truly solidified his position as a permanent fixture at the top of the batting order. With a career total of 5,270 runs in 70 matches for the Australian squad, the left-handed cricketer has become a linchpin in the team’s lineup.
However, Khawaja has not been without controversy. Recently, he found himself in the spotlight for a gesture of solidarity with Gaza that resulted in a reprimand from the ICC. During a test match against Pakistan, rules prevented him from displaying messages of support for Gaza on his shoes. Undeterred, Khawaja wore a black armband, an act that drew attention to the complex interplay between sports and political expression.
In response to the ICC’s decision, Khawaja maintained that he viewed the statements on his shoes as apolitical and expressed his resolve to contest the ruling. This incident adds an intriguing layer to Khawaja’s cricketing journey, showcasing not just his prowess on the field but also his willingness to stand by his beliefs off the pitch.