Pak-born Khawaja becomes first Muslim to represent Australia in Test cricket

Published: Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 11:27 [IST]
 

Sydney, Jun 22 (ANI): New South Wales left-hander Usman Khawaja has been named in the Australian Test team to face Pakistan in two Tests in England, making him first Muslim player to represent Australia.

Tasmanian pacer Ben Hilfenhaus has also been picked to play against Pakistan.

Pakistani origin Australian citizen Khawaja was born in Islamabad and came to Australia aged four, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

When he was first selected for NSW in 2008, cricket historian Kersi Meher-Homji said at the time he believed Khawaja to be the first local Muslim to play at this level.

Khawaja's was named after a spot was opened up by a shoulder injury to Phil Hughes, while Hilfenhaus returns after overcoming knee tendonitis.

"The unfortunate injury to Phillip Hughes has created an opportunity for another batsman to join the squad for these two Test matches against Pakistan. Usman Khawaja has been selected on the back of some very strong Sheffield Shield performances," said chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch.

"He is seen by the National Selection Panel as being capable of batting anywhere in the order in Test cricket, but importantly for this particular series a top-order batsman who could bat in the top four should the opportunity arise," he added.

Brad Haddin was also picked in the squad despite a tennis elbow complaint that only allowed him to start batting this week.

Squad: Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Doug Bollinger, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Usman Khawaja, Marcus North, Steven Smith. (ANI)

Write a Comment