Australian batsman Usman Khawaja has a pretty inspiring and fascinating story. The stylish left-handed batter was born in Pakistan and had moved to Australia with his family when he was five. Khawaja faced quite a few issues in pursuing a professional cricket career, but he didn’t give up and debuted in the 2010-11 Ashes series.
The 34-year-old has so far played 44 Tests and 40 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for Australia, amassing 2887 and 1554 runs, respectively. He averages 40.66 in red-ball cricket and 42 in the 50-over format. Khawaja has smashed 10 hundreds and 26 half-centuries in international cricket.
The New South Wales player is currently focusing on his next stint with Islamabad United in the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 remainder, scheduled to start from June 9 in Abu Dhabi. Ahead of his participation in PSL 6, Khawaja revealed his non-Australian cricketing heroes while growing up.
While speaking to the Cricwick YouTube channel, Khawaja named few legends like Saeed Anwar and Brain Lara as his cricketing heroes when he was growing up.
“Most of my heroes when I was young were not Australian. They’re either from subcontinent Pakistan mostly. Saeed Anwar was probably one of my favourite batsmen’s growing up. He and Brian Lara were my two favourites. I always stuck close to my left-handed batsman. I think the way Saeed Anwar played the game, how beautiful he was, the way he used to flick the ball off his pads. I loved watching him bat,” said Khawaja.
Further, the Islamabad-born named Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis in the list who were vastly popular when he was young. Khawaja also mentioned that when he turned 10 years old, he started liking Aussie players.
“I mean, it’s hard to go past people like Wasim Akram; everyone loved him. So these guys I definitely watched. I watched all of them, Waqar Younis bowling reverse swing. I just loved watching him. So these guys, at a young age, were definitely my heroes. When I turned about 10 or 11, then I started liking more Australian players, but before then, it was mostly players from outside of Australia,” added Khawaja.