‘Vicious and spiteful’: Administrator fumes as Usman Khawaja act slammed

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A former BCCI administrator has hit out on the therapy of Usman Khawaja by Indian authorities through the not too long ago concluded India-Australia Take a look at sequence, calling it “vicious and spiteful”.

Khawaja’s visa was delayed forward of the sequence, inflicting him to overlook the flight to India alongside his teammates and forcing him to fly to Melbourne and spend the evening in an airport resort.

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The Pakistani-born Khawaja was the one member of the Australian group to have visa points forward of the extremely anticipated Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Main Indian historian Ramachandra Guha, who previously held a place on the BCCI’s panel of directors, hit out on the delays.

“Khawaja is a high quality cricketer, he performed very impressively, and to carry up his visa was an act of spitefulness,” Guha informed Indian journalist Karan Thapar on The Wire.

“It exhibits India in a really poor gentle, not the (ruling get together) BJP, not (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, however you and me as Indians that our nation might maintain up somebody’s visas although he’s an Australian citizen,” he mentioned.

“It was a vicious and spiteful act and in some methods, given all that went on, it’s poetic justice that Khawaja scored 100.”

Khawaja is a twin citizen of each Australia and Pakistan, holding an Australian passport and Pakistani passport, however India visa purposes require anybody of Pakistani origin, whether or not they or their mother and father had been born in Pakistan, to declare their origin standing on a separate software kind, in addition to whether or not their grandparents have at any level held Pakistani nationality.

India and Pakistan have been in battle for the reason that partition of British India in 1947, which fashioned the trendy day nations of (largely Hindu) India and (largely Muslim) Pakistan.

The 2 nations have been at conflict 3 times along with ongoing army engagements over the disputed territorial standing of the Kashmir area.

“For my part, Pakistan ought to be capable of play in India and are available for the World Cup as a result of cricketers are usually not terrorists, cricketers don’t signify their authorities, they simply play a sport,” Guha mentioned.

Pakistan haven’t performed a match in India outdoors of ICC tournaments since 2013, and Pakistani cricketers have been excluded from the profitable Indian Premier League for the reason that second season, following the 2008 Mumbai assaults.

Khawaja, born in Islamabad earlier than transferring to Australia as a toddler, is a religious and practising Muslim.

India’s ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Celebration have been criticised for his or her “Hindutva” ideology of Hindu nationalism and for systematically discriminating towards Muslims, which kind India’s largest minority group.

Information Corp understands that Khawaja’s visa software was submitted in early January, through the Sydney Take a look at, and he was the one member of Australia’s touring get together to not have his visa processed.

It’s not the primary time Khawaja has struggled with visas to India, together with his passport being withheld in 2020 forward of an ODI tour, in addition to a heated debacle in 2011 forward of the now-defunct Champions League T20 event.

Cricket Australia and Cricket NSW had been pressured to petition the Indian Excessive Fee to reverse their determination to refuse Khawaja a visa, after an Indian diplomatic staffer insisted his software needed to be made with a Pakistani passport slightly than his Australian one.

On the time, an incensed Khawaja vented his frustration with the scenario, tweeting “Indian visa division have to type their points out.

“Refusing to let me journey to India as an Australian, as a result of I wasn’t born right here. Wow,” he wrote.

Responding to Portugese-born teammate Moises Henriques’ queries, he replied: “It wasn’t that I wasn’t born right here however the place I used to be.”

Guha went on to lash out on the BCCI’s dealing with of the Ahmedabad Take a look at and the Indian cricket media, after Information Corp reported that travelling Australian followers had been denied tickets for the primary day’s play in favour of tickets put aside for a political rally that featured Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

“It’s deeply upsetting, and in addition upsetting that it took an Australian author (Information Corp’s Peter Lalor) to level this out,” he mentioned.

“That is well-known amongst Indian cricket writers, however no Indian cricket journalist or web site had the braveness or decency to write down about this.”

Guha’s interview with The Wire got here after he wrote an opinion column in Kolkata every day newspaper The Telegraph, the place he criticised the scheduling of the fourth Take a look at in Ahmedabad in any respect, blaming Prime Minister Modi’s need for a diplomatic present of financial power within the 132,000 capability Narendra Modi Stadium.

Ahmedabad is the biggest metropolis in Gujarat, the house state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“It was solely in Gujurat that the calls for of the character cult might have been adequately happy,” he wrote.

Guha additionally appeared on The Grade Cricketer podcast, telling hosts Sam Perry and Ian Higgins that the scheduling was “scandalous” and “an outrage”.

“It’s like Sydney and Melbourne not getting a Take a look at match, and Alice Springs and Darwin internet hosting two of your Take a look at matches,” he mentioned.

Guha additionally criticised ex-players for being complicit in avoiding criticism of the Board of Management for Cricket in India.

“India has turn into the large bully of world cricket, and the IPL has allowed it,” he mentioned.

“Many ex-cricketers, together with Australian cricketers, are a part of this, as a result of they need contracts to commentate on the IPL.

“There was a scandal in Ahmedabad earlier this week as a result of there weren’t any tickets accessible for the primary day as a result of (Prime Minister) Mr Modi a captive viewers, there was a pushback on social media, however no cricketer talked about it.

“Don’t (Ricky) Ponting and Michael Clarke, and (Matthew) Hayden and the others care about followers? Australian followers?”

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