Australian batter Usman Khawaja on Friday shared a throwback picture of his early cricketing days, on social media. Khawaja, who is part of the Australian squad for the ongoing Pakistan tour, posted a childhood picture of himself playing at the old Rawalpindi stadium. The photo shows a young Khawaja batting at the practice pitches with a chair acting as stumps. The photo was taken over 30 years ago, before the Islamabad cricketer moved to Australia with his family at the age of 5.
“Taken over 30 years ago, two weeks before we left for Australia. Me playing a shot on the old Rawalpindi ground (practice wickets). Who would have thought that I’d be back here for the green and gold? Can’t wait to get back out there!” read the caption shared along with the picture by Khawaja.
The left-hander opener has also been named in the Australian squad for the first Test in Rawalpindi.
The Australian cricket team has returned to Pakistan after a gap of 24 years. The last time the Aussie team toured Pakistan was back in 1998 under the captaincy of Mark Taylor.
Pakistan has struggled to attract major teams for tours since the terrorist attack on the visiting Sri Lankan team in 2009. While countries like Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh and South Africa have toured the nation in the past few years, others have refrained from playing cricket in the country.
In fact, England and New Zealand pulled out of their Pakistan tour at the last moment in 2021. Citing major security concerns, New Zealand cancelled their tour and returned from Pakistan without playing any of the slated matches. Following this, England also cancelled their tour.
However, both these teams are likely to visit Pakistan later this year.
Meanwhile, Australia will be playing three Tests, three ODIs and one T20I against Pakistan during the ongoing tour. The first Test at Rawalpindi began today with Pakistan winning the toss and opting to bat first. Until last reported, Pakistan were 149/1.