Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has praised opening batter Usman Khawaja's courage in showing solidarity with Palestine victims amid the ongoing Test series against Pakistan, indicating his bravado to stand up for human values. Albanese also heaped praise on his teammates for backing the veteran batter to the hilt even as he continues to polarise opinions among the fans.
Khawaja has been quite vocal about his stand regarding the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine in the Gaza strip. He wished to wear shoes containing slogans of 'All Lives are equal' and 'Freedom is a human right' ahead of the 1st Test in Perth before the ICC prohibited. The 36-year-old wore a black armband instead, prompting the ICC to reprimand him.
Ahead of the Boxing Day Test at MCG, Khawaja planned to wear shoes with black dove and olive, but the apex body of the sport rejected that too. Nevertheless, Albanese didn't hold back from congratulating the veteran cricketer for standing up for human values. As quoted by Yahoo Sport, he stated:
"I'd like to congratulate (Khawaja) for the courage he has shown standing up for human values. He has shown courage, and the fact that the team has backed him in is a great thing. When Ussie and Dave go out, it will be a very special moment, when you walk on to the SCG."
Usman Khawaja emotional ahead of David Warner's final Test:
Meanwhile, Khawaja got emotional as David Warner seemed to be shedding tears during a presser on Monday while announcing his ODI retirement. The 36-year-old, speaking to Fox Sports, stated that Warner is completely different on the field to what he is with his family.
"It is quite special and quite emotional, I haven’t seen that. You don’t see that side of Davey at all. Obviously he doesn’t show you that side when he is playing. He is a fierce competitor. You see the Bull and you see him go out there and play hard and I have known him for a long time and I know that side of him. Something I love about Davey and probably the thing I love about him the most is you see what he is like on the cricket field, but he is such a different person when he is back home and with his family."
Warner retires from ODI cricket with 6932 runs under his belt in 161 matches, averaging well over 40.