Australian opener Usman Khawaja has claimed that his experience with the crowd in England during the 2023 Ashes was ‘worse’. The southpaw felt the group was a bit too aggressive on the spectators and some of them found it unnecessary. Khawaja believes that the buzzball ideology affected the public and they looked much more aggressive than usual.
Here is what Usman Khawaja is quoted as saying by Wisden:
“The crowd this time was far worse than anything I’ve ever experienced. That second morning at Edgbaston, getting sprayed left, right and centre. I had some of the strongest language and aggression directed at me of all my cricket trips. The vibe was so different and it felt more like a football crowd. Maybe Bazball helps to attract a different dynamic. This was constant chat along the lines of, ‘You’re c**p, you’re s**t, you’re useless, you can’t score runs here’.”
Usman Khawaja was also involved in the infamous Long Room incident during the Lord’s Test, where some members of the MCC set out to stump Johnny Bassertov.
“Walking back through the Long Room, I couldn’t believe what was said. I was like, ‘This is meant to be the gold standard of cricket’. Lord’s is meant to be a special place where they’ll clap you off whether you get a duck or a hundred, but after Edgbaston, I wasn’t just going to stand by and cop it. I never go up to anyone without a reason but I’ll always stand up for myself. People take my politeness as a weakness but if you come for me, I’ll come right back.”
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Usman Khawaja In His Celebration Of Edgbaston’s Hundred
Usman Khawaja had toured England earlier as well but could not cement his place in the team. After conquering most conditions around the world, Khawaja was finding it a bit difficult to score runs in England. However, he overcame those troubles with a sensational century at Edgbaston. His celebration showed how much it meant to him. To this he said:
“It was as if no one cared or bothered to look into my recent successes. As I’m going to the nets, people saying that I can’t score runs here. That’s when it really struck me. So the celebration was all the chained-up emotion. I don’t know why I dropped the bat, but it was probably the culmination of having three Ashes tours here and getting dropped in two of them.”
Usman Khawaja scored 496 runs in Ashes 2023, the most by any player in the series and Australia played a big role in retaining Urn.