All the way with UTK!

Rob na Champassak Roar Guru

By Rob na Champassak, Rob na Champassak is a Roar Guru

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165 Have your say

    Usman Khawaja is one of the few Aussie cricketers that should be guaranteed selection for the rest of the summer. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

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    Alright, let’s have it out – why won’t they select Usman Khawaja as an Australian representative cricketer?

    I do not buy into the theory that Khawaja’s selection woes have anything to do with his birthplace or his beliefs. That’s a crock.

    Australian sport has had no trouble selecting a diverse range of athletes across a myriad of sports. And when Khawaja made his Test debut back in 2011, he was hardly the first Muslim to play for a prominent Australian team.

    Amongst others, many would recognise the respected names of Hazem El Masri and Bachar Chouli from Australia’s two most popular footballing codes.

    In a way, they were both Islamic pioneers in their field in Australia – much like Ussie Khawaja. And Australia by and large have accepted these players as what they are – accomplished Australian athletes.

    Imagining some kind of entrenched racist conspiracy at Cricket Australia headquarters becomes much less credible in this context, especially when you consider that even Khawaja himself feels that his beliefs have been a non-issue in his career.

    Nonetheless, it is becoming increasingly difficult to deny that something insidious is holding him back.

    Michael Clarke and Mickey Arthur have implored the public to see the recent suspensions of four players, including Khawaja, in the proper context of a series of indiscretions that, considered as a whole, indicate a much more serious situation than each incident on its own. Fair enough.

    Well I view Khawaja’s non-selections in a similar light; potentially trivial when each incidence is taken on its own, but far more concerning when considered in the proper context of a series of often baffling snubbings – and not always in favour of other batsmen!

    It is true that he didn’t exactly bring the house down in the handful of Tests that he has played for Australia. But having said that, it certainly couldn’t be said he was a meek failure.

    It’s been mentioned before, but his first 11 innings yielded a better average to start his career than did Justin Langer’s, Damien Martyn’s, and even Stephen Waugh’s.

    Had the catch been taken on Ricky Ponting’s very first ball of Test cricket, I could have added Ponting’s name to that list of players who had worse starts to their careers than Khawaja.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean Khawaja is a better player than any of the above, mark you. I just wish to point out the absurdity in the argument that his form at the highest level hasn’t been good enough to justify selection.

    Even now, there are players in Mohali wearing the baggy green who have had worse starts to their career than UTK. Ed Cowan, for example.

    So what is it? Khawaja’s run-scoring in the Shield has been nothing if not consistently satisfactory – and certainly better than the vast majority of his competitors, some of whom have been selected ahead of him.

    He has worked on his technique with commendable application. He moved state to train under Darren Lehmann, one of the best technical coaches the state of Queensland has ever been blessed with.

    He even spent some time in Derbyshire to shore up his approach to batting on green wickets against Australia’s alleged kryptonite – quality swing bowling.

    Did it do him any good? You tell me.

    I was very disappointed to hear of his latest exclusion from the squad, and even more so to read so many comments on cricket forums, including the Roar, which had the temerity to suggest he was lazy.

    As though one forgotten assignment undoes all of the hard work that he has put into his career to get to where he is now!

    It remains to be seen whether he will be selected for the fourth Test of this Indian tour, but I am confident he will prove his value if the selectors allow him to string as many matches together as they have generously allowed Cowan and Phil Hughes.

    Note the ‘if’.

    We have seen too many good cricketers in the form of their lives regularly overlooked to have any confidence that the selectors will right their wrongs. Michael Di Venuto, Damien Martyn, Brad Hodge…

    Let us just hope that Khawaja’s stay in the ‘Ian Brayshaw-Jamie Cox club’ is a non-renewing membership.

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    The Crowd Says (165)

    • March 15th 2013 @ 5:54am
      Red Kev said | March 15th 2013 @ 5:54am | ! Report

      It is easy to voice the concern that being a Pakistani-born Muslim who is also a qualified pilot, UTK scares the granny-panties off the old white rednecks of the NSP in same manner that Australians in the 60s and 70s used to wail about “reds under the beds”. After all the NSP is two sandgropers, a banana-bender, an Afrikaaner and a western Sydney metrosexual – hardly a group you’d choose as stereotypically inclusive and accepting.

      But I don’t think that is it.
      In my opinion it is just good old-fashioned personal dislike. Someone on the NSP has a problem with Usman Tariq Khawaja.

      Maybe it is Arthur, there are those insidious parallels with the lack of chances afforded Amla under his tenure as SA coach.
      I think it is Inverarity. It was widely publicised at the time of his dropping from the national side that Khawaja was very annoyed Inverarity told both him and Phil Hughes together in the dressing room that they were dropped rather than individually in a debrief (as it should be done in a “professional” organisation – in a respectful manner explaining reasons and giving the player feedback on areas they need to improve upon). It is not hard to imagine he made his displeasure known and the uptight former headmaster Inverarity marked his cards as an insolent boy and has since set about ensuring he doesn’t play for Australia again (15 months of critical articles released through cricinfo and the Murdoch press certainly seem to support that point of view). Even now after the Hyderabad test, Khawaja has been made a scapegoat as he was after the Hobart test.

      Karma has a nice way of seeing to people who act in a stupid manner however, and the Australian test team hasn’t escaped retribution. In the last 12 months Khawaja has averaged just over forty whenever he has been in the middle (across all three forms of cricket) including 39.6 in the Shield and 48.8 in the County competition. That is the sort of consistency Australia should be jumping at.
      Since Khawaja was dropped from the test side, the number three position has returned 19.7 runs per innings over 15 tests. Even if Usman didn’t improve his average across those 15 tests (a very very very unlikely proposition) he’d still have returned an additional 10 runs per innings.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 8:59am
        Renegade said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:59am | ! Report

        “Even now after the Hyderabad test, Khawaja has been made a scapegoat ”

        Totally disagree…he has not been made the scapegoat of anything.

        “Even if Usman didn’t improve his average across those 15 tests (a very very very unlikely proposition) he’d still have returned an additional 10 runs per innings.”

        There is no guarantee he would have done any better than those out there if afforded the chance….all we can do is wait until he gets his shot and hope he delivers.

        • March 15th 2013 @ 9:07am
          Red Kev said | March 15th 2013 @ 9:07am | ! Report

          All four that were suspended were made scapegoats for (a) the poor team discipline that has been pervasive durnig the tour (if you believe Arthur and Clarke), it was not just perpetrated by these four – that makes them scapegoats (you can use the word examples if you wish, it is the same thing) and (b) the four including Khawaja have been made scapegoats for the poor form of the team – the press narrative has been all about these four and not about the abject and continued failure of Cricket Australia and the team management to adequately prepare or select for this tour.
          Yes they are scapegoats.

          Also, I didn’t say it was guaranteed – I said it was very very very likely. True. India in Australia, West Indies in the Caribbean, South Africa in Australia, Sri Lanka in Australia and India in India – I would lay money on Khawaja’s average improving to between 35 and 40 if he had been afforded those 15 tests.

          • March 15th 2013 @ 10:46am
            Disco said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:46am | ! Report

            Five series in which the NSP has wasted his talent.

            • March 15th 2013 @ 11:34am
              Rob Barrow said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:34am | ! Report

              News flash, Khawaja writing a book on how to be a injury cover, he has done this about 10 times in the last 2 years.

              • March 16th 2013 @ 12:22am
                Stephen said | March 16th 2013 @ 12:22am | ! Report

                Nice one Rob

        • March 15th 2013 @ 10:34am
          Praveen said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          No doubt that khawaja should be in the side
          And I expect the classy batsman to be back in the 4th test

          • March 15th 2013 @ 2:19pm
            Bradm said | March 15th 2013 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

            Only if Clarke himself gets injured. I think the understanding between Clarke and NSP is that Khawaja won’t be played in a game where Clarke is playing and Khawaja probably knows this by now.

        • March 15th 2013 @ 10:42am
          Stephen said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:42am | ! Report

          The way i see it this young man could be one of our better test prospects but he deserves a real crack at the spot i.e a full series What i like most about him is that he went to the Bulls(Even though i didn’t want him leaving NSW) but improved his game there under Lehman and the results were there for everyone to see. And Red Kev i read about how Inevarity gave him the news as well and it was wrong, in fact him being dropped was wrong given he top scored with a 70 odd in a record 300 chase against South Africa a few games before and got run out at 40 the test before due to a bad call from his partner He has come back stronger. And make no mistake that the homework incident is much wider then these gang of 4, it impacts the entire team and these 4 were used to scare the rest of the squad.

        • March 15th 2013 @ 11:08am
          Amith said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:08am | ! Report

          Khawaja is the best option for number 3 but i think he will be happy to bat where he gets a shot, and i hope he can get a spot anywhere in the top 6 as he can bat at any spot. Yes of course he got the number 3 spot he would do very well. The current squad give or take a few is more or less the best we’ve got. They have been playing cricket since they were kids and at a first class standard since young men. They’ve played the game in a wealthy country with a long history of champions, experience and success. I suspect it was. We are at a stage where for the most part the talent doesn’t compare to previous generations and as a nation we demand winners because thats what we have gotten used to but it will take time to build the team from the golden era we had a decade ago.And i agree with Red Kev that the articles by and large are negatively biased against him but Khawaja does what’s ask and that’s score runs and improve where he has been asked to. You have to reward that positve attitude.

          • March 15th 2013 @ 11:14am
            Renegade said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:14am | ! Report

            I believe he should be in the top 6 but i don’t believe he is our best option at number 3.

            • March 15th 2013 @ 11:33am
              Rob Barrow said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:33am | ! Report

              I think he is our best number 3 as well not counting Clarke of course. He has batted at 3 for both NSW and QLD and has the best technique out of all the youngsters coming through. And he can handle spin better as well then our current number 3.

              • March 16th 2013 @ 12:23am
                Stephen said | March 16th 2013 @ 12:23am | ! Report

                He should have been our number 3 for the last year, he would be set to go by now

      • March 15th 2013 @ 10:42am
        Disco said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:42am | ! Report

        Well put Kev.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 11:23pm
        Deep Thinker said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:23pm | ! Report

        Fielding and running between the wickets. He is a liability in the field, and while there has been some improvement, it is not good enough. He also doesn’t bowl.

        That said, Australia needs runs – they should take the hit in the field and pick him. There is very little batting talent and Khawaja deserves a go given what else is on offer.

        He’s not the only guy to get snubbed despite superior batting credentials.

        Rogers, D. Hussey, Jaques and Hodge have been far more compelling than Khawaja in recent times.

        • March 16th 2013 @ 12:25am
          Stephen said | March 16th 2013 @ 12:25am | ! Report

          You are wrong Deep thinker, his fielding is very sharp now thanks to work done with boof, in fact he is a better fielder then Hughes and Cowan and he doesn’t have the issues running between the wickets that some of our top order has. And yes he does bowl, he got Sangakara out in the Chairman’s X1 game but doesn’t get a bowl when he can be a useful part time bowler. He deserves his crack.

    • March 15th 2013 @ 8:22am
      formeropenside said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      I dont have strong feelings either way. He’s not a real Queenslander yet, and I have a preference for Qld developing its own talent rather than importing it.

      While Usman did fine for Qld in the Shield, its not like he beat the door down for Australian selection.

      Mind you, when I look at the muppets like Maxwell and Smith who got a call up ahead of him, its obvious you dont need to beat the door down.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 10:44am
        Stephen said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:44am | ! Report

        Khawaja by the christmas break was second on the shield run aggregates and 3rd on Ryobi, he did well in domestic cricket to earn his callup and we could see the obviuos improvement in his fielding and running between the wickets upon his recall.

        • March 15th 2013 @ 11:10am
          Amith said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:10am | ! Report

          This is all we can ask of him, keep scoring and improving, i was so looking forward to see hm in Mohali test, now we wait for the Dehli one. Our issue is that the keeper’s batting at No. 6, there are bowling allrounders at No. 7 and No. 8. Then nine, ten,. Good night and game set and match. Remember six batters, keeper and four bowlers? That used to work, didn’t it?

          • March 15th 2013 @ 11:37am
            Rob Barrow said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:37am | ! Report

            6 batsman, a keeper and 4 bowlers, that’s too much common sense for me Amith

          • March 15th 2013 @ 11:39pm
            Deep Thinker said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:39pm | ! Report

            Unless you are Kallis, Pollock, Imran Khan or Keith Miller, all-rounders are there to fill gaps in teams with glaring weaknesses. The golden era had no weaknesses. This team has major weaknesses so it needs all-rounders as the team will bowl more overs, and bat less overs. Therefore, you need more batting and/or bowling depth.

            I’d have stuck with Maxwell as a back up spinner on a turning track. He did ok and we’re hardly spoilt for choice.

            • March 16th 2013 @ 12:26am
              Stephen said | March 16th 2013 @ 12:26am | ! Report

              Yes but we don’t have an allroudner with Khan or Kallis class at the moment not counting Watson. So why this obsession with allrounders And Maxwell is not a allrounder

              • Roar Rookie

                March 16th 2013 @ 12:44pm
                Wilson Flatley said | March 16th 2013 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

                he is an allrounder stephen; he’s allround hopeless

    • March 15th 2013 @ 8:34am
      jameswm said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:34am | ! Report

      He hasn’t scored big at the right time. Cricket selection is all about timing.

      Whilst he’s the logical next in line, he hasn’t forced the selectors’ hands.

      That’s why he’s still on the fringe.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 8:37am
        Red Kev said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:37am | ! Report

        I’ve often thought that – that Khawaja suffers from making his hundreds ‘out of sight’. CA has said that a selector doesn’t see every match so they rely on the individual teams’ performance managers to supply them with information. If no selector was at Bellerive to see UTK score that 138 they wouldn’t recognise it for the quality innings it was.
        I posted a much bigger response to the story … its sitting in moderation, I used one of the trigger words without thinking.

        • March 15th 2013 @ 9:00am
          jameswm said | March 15th 2013 @ 9:00am | ! Report

          Which trigger word?

          Oh wait, you can’t tell me or your response will get edited…

          There are some silly trigger words. Where does the Roar get its filter from?

          Just realised “silly” is I think a trigger word, we can all chuckle about that if we ever get to see this post;)

          • March 15th 2013 @ 9:00am
            jameswm said | March 15th 2013 @ 9:00am | ! Report

            OK, not a trigger word!

          • March 15th 2013 @ 10:46am
            Stephen said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:46am | ! Report

            That 138 in Hobart outscored the entire Tasmanian score of 90 and 130 which included Bailey, Doolan, Cossie and their bowling lineup included Butterworth, Bird and Faulkner, it was a quality inning and was one of many innings in shield where Khawaja scored in tough conditions with the ball moving around, something which will be crutcial when the ashes rolls around

            • March 15th 2013 @ 10:49am
              Disco said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:49am | ! Report

              Well, it would be if quality batting was actually appreciated by the NSP. Seems as if they think Clarke’s batting alone is enough to win Test matches.

            • March 15th 2013 @ 11:12am
              Amith said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:12am | ! Report

              I remember Arthur talking that innings up, so even though i am not a fan of how he has handled this homework saga they did appreicate Khawaja’s runs and in particular that they came in difficult batting conditions. And our issue in this series has been too many rogue shots, no matter of consistancy. Besides Clark, the only inkling of hope in the first 2 tests was from Pattinson and he is not playing this test and Khawaja who would have added grit to the top order also mises out.

              • March 15th 2013 @ 11:36am
                Rob Barrow said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:36am | ! Report

                I watched the stream of that innings, it was absolutely fantastic, and a knock which Lehman called the best he has seen in his time and boof doesn’t give those sort of comments to anyone

      • March 15th 2013 @ 8:43am
        Renegade said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:43am | ! Report

        Basically sums up my thoughts james.

      • Columnist

        March 15th 2013 @ 9:43am
        Brett McKay said | March 15th 2013 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        Bingo, James, you’ve nailed it…

      • Roar Guru

        March 15th 2013 @ 9:51am
        JGK said | March 15th 2013 @ 9:51am | ! Report

        That was Mike Hussey’s issue for a while, hence the likes of Clarke getting a gig ahead of him.

        And it will be story of Dave Hussey’s career.

        • March 15th 2013 @ 10:24am
          Matt F said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:24am | ! Report

          Phil Jaques is another one. When he was at his peak, and dominating the Sheffield Shield, there wasn’t a spot for him. When he eventually got his chance he did well but injury, and Katich having that year where he averaged 100 in the Shield, forced him out and he never got back to the same level

          • March 15th 2013 @ 10:50am
            Disco said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:50am | ! Report

            Yes, I recall Jaques and Rogers scoring very heavily in 2006/07 but the selectors persevered with Langer who wasn’t in the greatest form.

            • March 15th 2013 @ 1:56pm
              Nick Inatey said | March 15th 2013 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

              Australian selectors have historically always put a higher price on incumbency rather than picking 11 on pure form. How else could Matt Hayden have stayed in the team in ’05 when he was 38 innings without a hundred.

              • March 15th 2013 @ 4:28pm
                dubblebubble said | March 15th 2013 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

                People still bring that up from time to time but while Hayden was’t scoring tons he was still averaging in the early 40’s over that period IIRC.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 10:36am
        Matt F said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:36am | ! Report

        Good point James. It’s often not how many runs you score but rather when you score them

      • March 15th 2013 @ 10:37am
        Praveen said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:37am | ! Report

        Hard to score a hundred when he gets 1 game only at any one time and is always a injury cover when others get a full series and more to show their stuff

        • March 15th 2013 @ 10:47am
          Stephen said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:47am | ! Report

          Praveen has a valid point in that there have been much less opportunities for UTK then for the other young batsman,something i hope is rectified when he next gets his shot

          • March 15th 2013 @ 11:14am
            Amith said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:14am | ! Report

            I agree on this too but i am tired of nagging on this, he is in the squad, hope he plays 4th test and then is used in the ashes as he is a fantastic player of swing bowling.

      • Roar Guru

        March 15th 2013 @ 12:24pm
        Rob na Champassak said | March 15th 2013 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

        I think you might be right. But if that’s the case, then that it is a terrible indictment of our selection procedures.

        • March 16th 2013 @ 12:27am
          Stephen said | March 16th 2013 @ 12:27am | ! Report

          You are correct Rob and very good article

      • March 15th 2013 @ 1:33pm
        WoobliesFan said | March 15th 2013 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

        Hmmm, by that logic, Maxwell fails.

        With Clarke at the helm you’d be stupid not to think that favouritism deosn’t come into it. UTK probably didn’t want to do the required a** kissing to be part of Clarke’s inner group of Metro he-man (i.e. tough and manly in all the wrong ways)… Katich…like Symonds….like Watto……see a pattern here.

        In hindsight we will rue the day Clarke was made captain….brilliant batsman, but terrible bloke.

        • March 16th 2013 @ 12:28am
          Stephen said | March 16th 2013 @ 12:28am | ! Report

          I am sure Clarke will bring in Khawaja for the 4th test

    • March 15th 2013 @ 8:45am
      Renegade said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:45am | ! Report


      Very well balanced article mate….certainly far better than some of the ridiculous comments i’ve seen on other threads.

      It’s just a matter of time before he gets a go and when he does, it’s up to him to deliver – which i’m sure he will.

      P.S. He is not a Queenslander and never will be – New South Welshmen through and through 😉

      • March 15th 2013 @ 10:38am
        Praveen said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:38am | ! Report

        Khawaja is now a Queenslander, we bought the best out of him

        • March 15th 2013 @ 10:49am
          Renegade said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          Yeah righto mate…let’s not bring up where he grew up, who developed him and where he earnt his baggy green.

          • March 15th 2013 @ 11:04am
            Red Kev said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:04am | ! Report

            More importantly I bet if you asked him he’d still consider himself a Sydney boy.

            • March 15th 2013 @ 11:08am
              Renegade said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:08am | ! Report

              Indeed 🙂

          • March 15th 2013 @ 11:15am
            Amith said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:15am | ! Report

            I wish he came to Melbourne to play, we would use him well, and there is no doubting that Vics are number 1 in domestic cricket in the last 5 years so we have a great culture here to grow young players.

            • March 15th 2013 @ 11:28am
              Renegade said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:28am | ! Report

              The only reason the Vics have had success in domestic cricket within recent years is because none of them are good enough to consistently play for Australia. 😉

              NSW basically compete with a second XI.
              And you can probably put together another NSW side based on Blues playing for other states 🙂

              • March 15th 2013 @ 12:23pm
                rl said | March 15th 2013 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

                And thus explains most of our problems at international level…

              • March 15th 2013 @ 12:31pm
                Renegade said | March 15th 2013 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

                Well of course, when it’s only left to one state to produce the talent for an entire country 😉

            • March 15th 2013 @ 11:39am
              Matt F said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:39am | ! Report

              Yes the likes of Wade, Rogers, Hussey and Hastings are fantastic Victorian juniors. Oh wait….. 🙂

    • March 15th 2013 @ 8:54am
      jameswm said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:54am | ! Report

      FYI Sandhu in his 2nd FC game now has 11 wickets @ 13 a piece. What a start!

      He’s only 19, but let’s see when the Aussie selectors get interested. He is from NSW, so he should have already been measured up for his baggy green.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 9:00am
        Renegade said | March 15th 2013 @ 9:00am | ! Report

        ” He is from NSW, so he should have already been measured up for his baggy green.”

        Hey, no need to hate…’s not our fault we are better specimens 😉

        • March 15th 2013 @ 9:01am
          jameswm said | March 15th 2013 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          Hey I’m true blue. I was just getting the narky comment in before our cousins north of the Tweed and south of the Murray got their chance.

          • March 15th 2013 @ 9:10am
            Red Kev said | March 15th 2013 @ 9:10am | ! Report

            Starc, Pattinson, Cummins and Sandhu could be a hell of an Australian pace attack in three-four years time – three of those are NSW boys.

            • March 15th 2013 @ 9:17am
              Felix said | March 15th 2013 @ 9:17am | ! Report

              Let us not forget Ben Cutting (currently has more runs at a better average than our #5 test batsman…)

              • March 15th 2013 @ 10:48am
                Stephen said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:48am | ! Report

                I tell you what, our fast bowling stocks are the envy of other nations at present.

            • March 15th 2013 @ 10:51am
              Disco said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

              The incessant injuries which befall them would be less envied I’d reckon.

              • March 15th 2013 @ 4:00pm
                Ziggy said | March 15th 2013 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

                Our bowling stocks are not the envy of the South Africans.

              • March 16th 2013 @ 11:46am
                Matt F said | March 16th 2013 @ 11:46am | ! Report

                Our depth is, but clearly the top few in South Africa are world class and better than our top few

          • March 15th 2013 @ 10:34am
            Matt F said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:34am | ! Report

            Don’t pre-empt them James, let them have their rant. It’s quite funny watching fans from other states complain of NSW bias when their own states continue to raid NSW for players 😉

      • March 15th 2013 @ 10:18am
        Matt F said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:18am | ! Report

        He was also the 3rd or 4th leading wicket taker in the Ryobi Cup despite not making his debut until the second half of the season

      • March 15th 2013 @ 11:54pm
        Deep Thinker said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:54pm | ! Report

        It’s bloody hard deciding who the best pace bowlers are – there are so many with really good stats. I suspect that shows we have a lot of really good pace bowlers, but also partly reflects the favourable conditions and very poor batting talent we have.
        On stats, there could be about 15 pace bowlers realistically vying to play for Australia – outside the current squad that is.

        Just to name a few – McDermott, Sayers, Butterworth, Coulter-Nile, Mennie, Guilbis – these guys haven’t even played and are in the low 20s.

        Then there’s Faukner, Cutting, McKay, Copeland, Bollinger, and loads more,

        Anyone remember Ryan Harris? Hilfy? Jackson Bird?

        Oh yeah, Pat Cummins?

        Hazelwood and Kane Richardson have been hyped but don’t really deserve the attention (yet).

    • March 15th 2013 @ 8:59am
      Felix said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      I find it a really interesting one, the case of Khawaja. He has been placed in this sort of limbo and starved of first class games when he was called in as a ‘cover player’ for any injury to Clarke. Curiously I don’t ever recall him being named in the squad as such, more as placed on injury standby, so he didn’t get 12th man duties and wasn’t released to go back to play for QLD.

      As an aside, I happened to play golf with a close friend of Clarke’s manager about 3 weeks ago, who regaled me an interesting tale:

      He said that the day before the BBL game was to be played, where Clarke was offered $100k to play, he approached his manager and asked him if he could sit it out, citing back problems. His manager said of course, but you’ll forfeit the $100k appearance fee. In turn, Clarke had Cricket Australia yank him from the game which ensured he got his match fee, and they plugged in Usman Khawaja instead. The next day (game day) he asked his manager if it would be OK for him to go and pick up his new motorbike, the manager clearly said no, that’s a horrific idea you are out because of back problems, alas he did it anyway.

      Now this young Sydney-sider claims this was a dinky die story, how much substance there is to it I’m unsure. It seems like an elaborate story to make up, but either way it’s not a real flash insight into the captain’s attitude if there is any truth to it.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 9:05am
        jameswm said | March 15th 2013 @ 9:05am | ! Report


        • March 15th 2013 @ 10:49am
          Stephen said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          If this is true then its very low on the part of our skipper, i hope its not true.

          • March 15th 2013 @ 11:15am
            Amith said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:15am | ! Report

            That’s disgraceful, but can anyone else back up this story

      • Roar Guru

        March 15th 2013 @ 9:52am
        JGK said | March 15th 2013 @ 9:52am | ! Report

        If that’s true it is getting pretty close to fraud.

        • March 15th 2013 @ 10:15am
          Don Corleone said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:15am | ! Report

          I drove 600km with my wife and kids to see that game which Clarke pulled-out of…not impressed if that’s the case.

          • Roar Guru

            March 15th 2013 @ 10:30am
            JGK said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:30am | ! Report

            Sounds like you should be hitting Pup up for petrol money and accommodation costs.

            • March 15th 2013 @ 11:00am
              Don Corleone said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:00am | ! Report

              I’m sure the $6 Million Man could afford it…and maybe he could kick in for the >$100 for the SCG fast food bill.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 2:53pm
        WoobliesFan said | March 15th 2013 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

        This story shows the measure of the man. He’s always come across as a spoilt, selfish person. Nice article, but Clarke I believe is the biggest influence in Khawaja not in the team. We give up so much in mateship and true-blue attitude in return for his batting skills.

        • March 15th 2013 @ 10:09pm
          chris b said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:09pm | ! Report

          Hang on, you’ve no idea if this is true or not, its just hearsay, reported third hand, at best.
          Just because you think it might be true, doesn’t mean it actually is

          • March 16th 2013 @ 12:30am
            Stephen said | March 16th 2013 @ 12:30am | ! Report

            I don’t think this is true

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