Usman Khawaja is a Pakistani-born Australian cricketer, who is a qualified pilot and made his test debut after completing a Bachelors degree in Aviation from the University of New South Wales. He got his pilot licence before
Usman Khawaja is a Pakistani-born Australian cricketer, who is a qualified pilot and made his test debut after completing a Bachelors degree in Aviation from the University of New South Wales. He got his pilot licence before his driving licence. Khawaja was born on 18 December 1986 in Pakistan. His family migrated to New South Wales, Australia when he was a child. He was educated at Westfields Sports High School.
He was awarded player of the Australian Under-19 Championship in 2005 and also played for Australia in the 2006 U-19 Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka as an opening batsman. His club side is Randwick Petersham Cricket Club.
A left-handed top order batsman, Usman Khawaja made his first class debut for the New South Wales Blues in 2008. In the same year, he hit consecutive double centuries for the NSW Second XI—a feat never before achieved by a New South Wales player. On 22 June 2010 it was announced by Cricket Australia that Usman Khawaja would be a part of the Australian touring squad to play Pakistan in a two Test series in England.
Usman Khawaja was selected as part of the 17-man Australian squad for the 2010–11 Ashes series. During the third test, Ricky Ponting fractured his finger and Khawaja was named as a stand-by if Ponting could not recover in time. He was subsequently selected in the Australian cricket team to play England in the fifth Test against England in Sydney on 3 January 2011.
On 3 January 2011, Khawaja became the 419th Australian to be presented with an Australian Cricket Test baggy green cap. Khawaja became the first Muslim and first Pakistani-born Australian player to play test cricket for Australia and only the seventh foreign-born cricketer to do so in the last 80 years.
Usman Khawaja signed a contract to play for county side Derbyshire in the 2011 English domestic season. He played in four County Championship matches, averaging 39.87 with the bat and scoring a century (135) against Kent. After his county stint, he made five further Test appearances in 2011, scoring one half-century (65) against South Africa. He was dropped from Australia's Test team after the home series against New Zealand, making way for Shaun Marsh upon Marsh's return from injury.
Before the 3rd Test against India in March 2013, Australia suspended Khawaja, along with James Pattinson, Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson following a breach of discipline. Michael Clarke, the captain, revealed that the step had been taken as a result of repeated infractions which led to Watson flying back home and contemplating Test retirement. Some former players reacted with astonishment at the decision taken by the team management. Khawaja made his Test return in the second Test of the 2013 Ashes series, replacing Ed Cowan.