Khawaja says no grudges against Arthur over ‘homeworkgate’
BRISBANE: Australia batsman Usman Khawaja said on Tuesday he holds no grudge against Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur over the so-called “homeworkgate” affair ahead of this week’s Test series opener against the tourists.
Khawaja was one of four players who were banned for one Test for failing to complete a written task set by Arthur when he was Australia coach during a disastrous tour of India in 2013.
Arthur was subsequently fired by Cricket Australia on the eve of the 2013 Ashes after a run of four defeats and replaced by Darren Lehmann.
Khawaja said it was “water under the bridge”.
“I’m not spiteful or vengeful in that sort of respect. Mickey is a very good guy,” he told reporters ahead of the day-night opening Test against Pakistan at the Gabba on Thursday.
“I’m not the kind of guy who holds on to grudges. If I get into a fight or I get angry with someone I’m over it (quickly), usually anyway.
“I’m sure if I see Mickey there’ll be no issues, it’ll be fine, everything will be good.”
Khawaja, who left Pakistan before he was five and is the first Muslim to play for Australia, said the country of his birth was still “a very big part” of his life, but it would not affect him during the series.
“If I broke it down, the way I act and what I do is very Australian, but there’s always parts of me – when I talk to my parents I try to speak Urdu with them here and there,” he said.
“It’s not as good as them but they understand what’s going on so it is a big part of my life when I’m with my parents and around my parents.”
Khawaja heads into the series in top form after his man-of-the-match near-eight hour epic 145 over three days in the first innings of Australia’s win over South Africa in Adelaide last month.
He has amassed 314 runs at 52.33 in three Tests so far this Australian Test season.