Sydney, Aug 29 (ANI): Legendary Australian batsman Greg Chappell has backed Australian batsman Usman Khawaja to inspire thousands of children from numerous ethnic backgrounds to believe that they can also represent Australia.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Chappell's comments come days after an English journalist was criticised for suggesting that the 'Australia's experiment with their Asian immigrant population will be shelved' after Khawaja was dismissed in the fourth Ashes Test.
Dismissing the notion that Pakistani-origin Khawaja was a Cricket Australia (CA) 'experiment', Chappell said that Khawaja would instead inspire aspiring cricketers with an Islamic background to play the game and become Australian national team cricketers, and also backed Khawaja to play for Australia again in the future.
According to Chappell, the inclusion of Khawaja in the squad is a part of a particular goal of CA to develop the game through the wider community and the different ethnic groups in the country, adding that it is time to provide youngsters from ethnic and indigenous backgrounds with heroes that they can relate to.
The former India coach also said that players like Khawaja and India-origin New South Wales (NSW) pace bowler Gurinder Sandhu are good examples for their individual communities in Australia, although he also called for the need to get players from African, Asian and European countries.
CA has launched a community rookie contracts program, which are to be awarded to under-23 players from rural communities, indigenous backgrounds, low socio-economic areas and from non-English-speaking backgrounds, the report added. (ANI)