Pak born Muslim Oz batsman says will never forget where he comes from

Posted By: Devaki

Islamabad, July 8 (ANI): Usman Khwaja, who is the first Muslim to represent Australia in Tests, has said that though Australia has been his home since he was a toddler, he can never forget his mother land-Pakistan.

"I will never forget where I come from, and no one should, but Australia has been my home every since I can remember," Khwaja told

"Ever since I can remember, I have supported Australia," he added.

Khwaja's family had migrated to Australia nearly 20 years ago, and now he stands on the threshold of becoming the first Muslim ever to wear the baggy green.

The left-handed batsman has been included in the Australian squad for the two match Test series against Pakistan, and Khwaja says there is no extra pressure on him because of his religion.

"No added pressure at all. Religion is a very personal thing to me and I only get judged by how I perform on the field, and that is all I can try to control," said the New South Wales (NSW) batsman.

Khwaja, who got a break due to a shoulder injury to NSW teammate Phillip Hughes, said he has received great support from his teammates throughout his career, adding that the presence of close friends like Steven Smith and Simon Katich in the Australian squad would be of great help in England.

"We are all fighting for position, but on the other hand there is a close bond with my NSW and Australia A teammates. I have known both (Smith and Katich) for a long period of time and they are both excellent cricketers and great mates," said Khwaja, who is also a trained pilot. (ANI)

Story first published: Thursday, July 8, 2010, 16:33 [IST]
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