Will be very special to play in Pakistan, says Usman Khawaja

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Srinagar, March 1: Australia star batsman Usman Khawaja has said that it will be very special to play in Pakistan, the Country of his birth but has said that there would be no sentiments involved.

Usman Khawaja who was born in Islamabad, was four-years-old when his parents moved to Sydney.

“The fact that I’m playing in Pakistan is special, don’t get me wrong, it’s very special,” the left-hander told a virtual news conference.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I grew up down the road.

“There is that bit of sentiment definitely, but once the game starts you don’t really think about that stuff.”

Khawaja earned his place on the tour after his twin hundreds in Sydney against England in what was his first test in more than two years.

“I’ve played for such a long time now. I’ve been out of the team, I’m back in the team — every game for me now for Australia is just a bonus,” he said.

Khawaja, whose hundreds in Sydney came at number five, is set to open Australia’s innings with fellow left-hander David Warner.

While he expects to receive a warm welcome in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore, Khawaja also thought Pakistan fans would show their appreciation for the quality cricket of the visitors.

“I’ve got a lot of support here in Pakistan always. I think they’ll support me, they’ll hope I get runs, but they’ll be hoping Australia get smashed at the same time,” he said with a smile.

“It’s going to be one of those Catch-22s”

“But I don’t expect a hostile crowd. Pakistanis love their cricket, and they appreciate good cricket, and I think that’s what they’d be hoping for.”

The first Test begins on Friday in Rawalpindi.

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