Australia’s Test opener Usman Khawaja, who has been a strong advocate of human rights - reckoned that he is really struggling to be motivated right now. The left-hander started the three-match Test series against Pakistan on a strong note, with scores of 41 and 90, but his scores dropped in the second Test, where he scored only 42 and 0.
Khawaja insisted that he has had a word with the people around him, including his wife Rachel and Australia’s sports psychologist Brent Membrey. The southpaw also opined that his messages - loud and clear - are not done on a whim and reckoned that the attack on Gaza has really had an effect on him.
"I don’t do these things on a whim – this is something that has affected me for a long time. I was playing Sheffield Shield cricket before the Test series and I was really lacking motivation,” Usman Khawaja said in an interview with Fox Sports.
“I talked to my wife Rachel, I talked to our sports psychologist Brent Membrey and Cricket Australia and told them I really am struggling for motivation right now," he added.
Since the start of early October, when Hamas attacked the city of Gaza, several lives have been in constant danger, with the death count increasing every day. Khawaja stated that playing cricket, knowing all of this happening, has been quite tough and has had a big impact on him.
"When I see all these people, particularly innocent kids, dying and I see videos of that happening it really has an effect on me. Going out and playing cricket just seemed so insignificant and I’m really struggling with it. It had a big impact on me. I thought long and hard about what I could do and how I could do it without segregating and pushing people aside," Khawaja added.
Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese praised the opener, congratulating him for the southpaw’s courage to stand up for human values.
"I'd like to congratulate [Khawaja] for the courage he has shown standing up for human values," Mr Albanese said. "He has shown courage, and the fact that the team has backed him in is a great thing."