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‘Subconscious’ racial bias continues in Australian cricket: Usman Khawaja

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Australian batsman Usman Khawaja acknowledges the crowd as he walks off the field after being dismissed during the third day of the Third Test cricket match in Adelaide against South Africa. — Reuters/File
Australian batsman Usman Khawaja acknowledges the crowd as he walks off the field after being dismissed during the third day of the Third Test cricket match in Adelaide against South Africa. — Reuters/File

A “subconscious” racial bias continues to influence cricket in the country all the way up to the top level, said Australian Test batter Usman Khawaja.

Khawaja stated that a lack of representation “at a high-performance level” was a key challenge faced by non-white players and that the cricket scene in Australia was still stagnant.

“That’s where I’m trying to work with Cricket Australia saying, ‘Look, guys, you invest a lot of money into this, but something’s not going right. You’ve been doing it for 10 years and nothing’s changed”, Khawaja told Sydney Morning Herald.

“There’s a 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’s opinion is correct in the sense that the entire CA board, national selectors, and senior coaching staff are white.

Last month, he claimed on Twitter that despite being dressed in proper team kit and in the middle of a series, he was frequently stopped by security to have his credentials examined.

“I got stopped 3 times last year at our hotel, while in Australian kit, and [was] asked if I was with the Australian Cricket team…” Khawaja wrote.

It should be noted here that Khawaja was born in Pakistan and relocated to Sydney at a young age, where he grew up and played cricket in the eastern suburbs, along with veteran batter David Warner.

Khawaja represented Australia in 105 international matches and scored 5,957 runs.

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