Australian Test opener Usman Khawaja has spoken out against a “subconscious” racial bias in team selections Down Under.
Speaking to Sydney Morning Herald, Khawaja said, “There’s subconscious bias. If you have two cricketers, one brown, one white, both the same, the white coach is going to pick the white cricketer just because he has a son that might look similar to him. It’s what’s familiar to him.”
Khawaja was born in Pakistan and moved at a young age to Sydney, where he grew up and played cricket in the eastern Suburbs, notably with David Warner.
Khawaja recently jumped four spots to break back into the top 10. His unbeaten 195 in the drawn Sydney Test against South Africa saw him jump to No. 8 in the rankings, making him one of four Australians in the top 10 in the Test batting charts, along with Marnus Labuschagne at the top, Smith at No. 2 and Travis Head ranked fourth.
Last month, Khawaja revealed on Twitter how he has been often stopped by security to have his credentials checked - despite being dressed in the official team kit.
‘I got stopped three times last year at our hotel, while in Australian kit and asked if I was with the Australian cricket team...’ Khawaja wrote.
Khawaja continues to be the only Muslim player to have ever played for Australia. Jason Gillespie and Scott Boland are the only two Indigenous men to have ever played Test cricket for Australia.