Usman Khawaja has received the inaugural Shane Warne Males’s Take a look at Participant of the Yr award following an outstanding 12 months in Australian whites.
And he delivered a quintessentially Khawaja acceptance speech.
Since returning to the Take a look at facet in January final yr, Khawaja has been Australia’s main run-scorer within the five-day format, accumulating 1020 runs at 78.46 in the course of the voting interval.
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He capped off the voting interval with an unbeaten 195 in the course of the rain-affected New Yr’s Take a look at towards South Africa on the SCG – his third consecutive Take a look at century on the venue.
Final week, Khawaja was named within the ICC Take a look at Group of the Yr alongside Australian teammates Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon and Marnus Labuschagne.
Throughout his acceptance speech, Khawaja thanked Travis Head for making method from the Australian workforce – on account of Covid – halfway by way of final summer season’s Ashes sequence, which finally gave Khawaja one other alternative at Take a look at stage – a possibility he’s grasped forcefully.
“I actually thought that recreation on the SCG … I at all times thought it may very well be my final recreation. I used to be taking part in it as my final recreation,” Khawaja stated.
“It’s humorous once you play with that form of mindset how issues can really work out. I used to be simply anxious about getting off the mark and doing the method proper and attempting to win the sport for the workforce. Life’s very humorous at occasions.”
The Queenslander was unstoppable in Pakistan, his nation of delivery, registering scores of 97, 160, 44 not out, 92 and 104 not out in the course of the historic tour.
“What we did as a workforce going to Pakistan … I imply, New Zealand had a possibility to go, they didn’t go. England had a possibility to go, they didn’t go,” he stated.
“All the way in which from CA as much as the highest, as much as Pat (Cummins), all of the gamers – it was a sacrifice at some stage as a result of the households … it was unsure. We hadn’t been again there for thus lengthy, so for lots of people they don’t see behind the scenes it’s a troublesome choice to make. Credit score to everybody who went.
“Clearly I used to be born in Pakistan. I do know what it means to Pakistan cricket. I do know what it means to Pakistan. I do know what it means to my dad as a result of I grew up and I noticed what the eagerness he had for cricket and supporting Pakistan and now Australia. For the fellows to do this, I feel speaks volumes for the workforce and the place we’re headed.”
Khawaja was then requested to say just a few thanks’s, which prompted a cheeky self-plug.
“I’ll simply begin by saying congrats to everybody on the workforce. I feel there’s been excellent performances – Marnus, Smudger, Patty at all times, Gaz the quantity of wickets you’ve taken this yr is unbelievable. I used to be just a bit bit higher I feel … I’m simply joking guys, I needed to get it on the market,” he stated with amusing.
Khawaja then turned his consideration to his household and delivered touching tributes.
“For my spouse, Rachel – you’re the rock. You know the way a lot I like you,” he stated.
“Once I bought dropped in 2019, you gave me unconditional love. I’m getting emotional fascinated about a really powerful time in my life. You liked me after I was taking part in for Australia, you really liked me after I was taking part in for Queensland, even after I was a ‘clubbie’ taking part in for ‘Valleys’ you gave me unconditional love.
“You like Usman Khawaja the particular person, not Usman Khawaja the cricketer – and for that, I’m really indebted to you. With out you, I wouldn’t be standing right here proper now.
“I’ll simply give a fast point out to my daughters, Aisha and Ayla. They received’t perceive what’s occurring proper now, however I’m certain at some stage at a while in life, they’ll be like ‘you must’ve thanked us’. Feisty women, these ones.
“Aisha I like you a lot. You carry a lot happiness to my life, one thing I might by no means ever defined. You imply the world to me. Ayla, you’re solely eight months outdated, you’re connected to your mum proper now, probably the most I get is ‘ba ba ba’ from you – however that ‘ba ba ba’ melts my coronary heart and I like you too very a lot.
“To my mum, I’m certain you in all probability would have seen her within the stands. She’s the girl with the headband who’s at all times panicking each single match I play. She nonetheless thinks it’s my first Take a look at match – Mum I’ve performed 50 Take a look at matches, I’m 36 years outdated, chill out! Benefit from the recreation please. I like you a lot. I’m hoping the following little little bit of the journey you may take pleasure in.
“To my dad, who’s an absolute cricket tragic. You made the largest sacrifice of all for us children. We lived an excellent life in Pakistan, we had been comfy. However you moved, you determined to take a leap – and not using a job, with out something – for us kids to have a greater life. For that I’ll at all times be indebted and for that I’ll at all times thanks for permitting me to be in Australia and representing the Australian cricket workforce. Who is aware of should you by no means moved, I might need been on the PCB awards proper now getting an award … in all probability for greatest all-rounder as a result of my offies would’ve been devastating on the market!”
As Khawaja was thanking his teammates, Marnus Labuschagne screamed out from his seat and appeared to provide Khawaja the wind-up.
“That is my time. When The Folks’s Champ’s speaking, don’t rush The Folks’s Champ, alright?” Khawaja stated.
He then thanked cricket followers – as a result of “The Folks’s Champ has to thank the followers”.
“The love I’ve gotten over the past yr, I might by no means ever imagined getting that form of love,” he stated.
“I lastly really feel like not solely my teammates, however Australia as a rustic and as a cricketing organisation is lastly respecting me because the particular person, the beliefs I’ve. I like the place we’ve been and the place we’re going. I like the place we’ve come over the past 10 to fifteen years and hopefully over the following 10 to fifteen years we could be even additional.
Khawaja earlier within the evening additionally received the Neighborhood Impression Award for his work off the sector. The Australian opener’s Usman Khawaja Basis helps younger individuals from deprived communities by offering academic and cricketing alternatives.
Shane Warne Take a look at Participant of the Yr
2000 – Glenn McGrath
2001 – Colin Miller
2002 – Matthew Hayden
2003 – Ricky Ponting
2004 – Ricky Ponting
2005 – Damien Martyn
2006 – Shane Warne
2007 – Ricky Ponting
2008 – Brett lee
2009 – Michael Clarke
2010 – Simon Katich
2011 – Shane Watson
2012 – Michael Clarke
2013 – Michael Clarke
2014 – Michael Clarke
2015 – Steve Smith
2016 – David Warner
2017 – Mitchell Starc
2018 – Steve Smith
2019 – Nathan Lyon
2020 – Marnus Labuschagne
2021 – Pat Cummins
2022 – Travis Head
2023 – Usman Khawaja
Initially revealed as Usman Khawaja wins inaugural Shane Warne Males’s Take a look at Participant of the Yr award