Usman Khawaja has now finally flown to India after the visa was approved, he left 24 hours after the test of his teammates. However, the incident highlighted the sad truth for the Aussie cricket star.
The Pakistan’s first-born batsman was left stranded on Wednesday Since his Test teammates flew to India for the four-match series. Khawaja took to social media to reveal that his visa was not granted in time to fly out with the rest of the squad and said he was ‘disappointed’.
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On Thursday morning, India’s High Commissioner to Australia Manpreet Vohra revealed that Khawaja’s visa had finally been “issued and collected from our Consulate General in Melbourne”. He added: “Let’s have a great #BorderGavaskarTrophy series!”
Khawaja left Sydney airport on Thursday morning and will join the rest of the Aussie Test squad in India. But the unfortunate situation explained what Khawaja faced earlier in his career.
In 2011 he vented his frustrations that he was not allowed to enter India to play in the Champions League T20 for NSW because he was not born in Australia. However, he was cleared to enter the country in other formats on other occasions.
He toured with the Test team in 2013 and also represented the Rising Pune Supergiant in the 2016 edition of IPL. The Royal player also toured India with Australia A in 2018, and went again with the national ODI team in 2019.
The visa process for entry into India usually asks applicants whether they or their parents are of Pakistani origin. Getting approval for India can often be complicated and time-consuming, but every other member of Australia’s 18-man squad appeared for their visas in early January.
On Wednesday, Khawaja posted a video of the popular Netflix show ‘Narcos’ on Instagram, along with the hashtags ‘desperate’, ‘dontleaveme’, ‘flag’ and ‘anytimenow’. A Cricket Australia official said he is aware of the situation and hopes Khawaja will be tested for imminent entry into India.
Cricket fans and commentators are aghast over the social media situation. Veteran journalist Malcolm Conn tweeted: “It’s ridiculous. Khawaja is Australian.” Others said it was sad and ugly.
Usman Khawaja’s incredible rise in Test cricket
Khawaja enjoyed a remarkable dance in the Aussie side over the last 12 months, he was awarded the men’s test player of the year at the . Australian Cricket Awards on Monday night The 36-year-old scored 1,020 runs at an average of 78.46 during the spell – the most by any Aussie Test player.
Remarkably, Khawaja only returned to the Test side when Travis Head was forced to miss the fourth Test against England in the final Ashes series of the summer. He played back-to-back centuries in that game at the SCG and never looked back.
“The game itself at the SCG … I honestly thought it could be the last game ever. I was playing it as my last game,” Khawaja said in his acceptance speech on Monday night. “It’s funny to play this game with this kind of mindset of how things can actually work out. I was just worried about getting out of character and doing the right process and trying to win for the team. It’s a life-changing moment.”
Khawaja also made 97, 160, 44 not out, 92 and 104 not out from his country’s historic Australia innings last year in Pakistan. “Of course I was born in Pakistan. I know what Pakistani cricket means,” he said.
“I know what it means to Pakistan. I know what it means to my father because I grew up and saw the passion he had for cricket and supporting Pakistan and now Australia. For the guys to do it, I think it speaks volumes where we are as a team and green.”
Khawaja was also named in the ICC World Test Team of the Year alongside teammates Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne and Nathan Lyon. Australia’s four-Test series against India kicks off on Tuesday, with matches in Nagpur, Delhi, Dharamshala and Ahmedabad.
with AAP *
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