Khawaja accused Cricket Australia of financial mismanagement
The veteran Australian Usman Khawaja omission from Cricket Australia contract list for the season 2020-21, provided the biggest talking point, surprising former captains Michael Clarke and Allan Border. Left-hander test opener Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis have left out from the Cricket Australia contract list. Alongside Nathan Coulter-Nile, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Shaun Marsh, Ashton Turner, and the retired Peter Siddle, Stoinis and Khawaja were missing from the contract when the list was announced on Thursday, have all missed out having been part of the initial list last year. Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns are among six new faces on Cricket Australia’s list of contracted men’s players for the 2020-21 season. Labuschagne and Burns have been added along with Ashton Agar, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson, and Matthew Wade, players who all missed out on from the initial list last year but features in this year contract.
Usman Khawaja says on Fox Sports that:
“Age is just a number and if you’re performing, you’re performing; it’s not like I’m 37 or 38 and coming into right at the end of my career. Without sounding arrogant, I still feel like I’m one of the top six batsmen in the country. My playing against spin has been right up there as some of the best in the county. Bar maybe Steve Smith, who is an absolute genius. But the most important thing is to score runs.
I was very shocked. Because I knew our projections for revenue were still very high and I think they still are, depending on what happens with the Indian series. It’s a bit confusing. I don’t have all the financial information in front of me, but it seems like it’s more of a cash-flow problem at the moment. There’s a little bit of mismanagement there somewhere, with the portfolio and putting a lot of money into the share market.
To me, that’s Business 101. Make sure you have enough cash reserves if the crap hits the fan. So I’m a little bit disappointed on that front but what’s been done is done now, so it’s just our responsibility as CA and ACA to work through this. ACA (state associations and the Australian Cricketers’ Association) emailed players on Thursday, explaining it is seeking further financial information. I feel more for the staff that has been stood down on 20 percent. A lot of them are good mates of mine.
While Australia Head coach Justin Langer defends Cricket Australia’s decision to drop Khawaja from contract list, here is Langer statement about the omission of Khawaja from the national contract list:
He is stiff, I do not doubt that It is quite a complex process actually, at the end of the season you rank the top 20 Test players, top 20 ODI players, and top 20 T20 players, but there is a higher weighting towards Test cricket. It spits out the final list, and there are some little adjustments along the way, I have still got a headache from making the calls. There is always someone a bit unlucky, and he was stiff, but he hasn’t played for Australia since last June so that’s how it worked out. He’s a really good player, a good young bloke and hopefully, he will force his way back into the team. You tend to find batsmen have their golden years between 29-35, so he is potentially right in the prime of his career believe it or not, as long as he stays fit and healthy. Sometimes you need to keep redefining yourself, his age isn’t an issue at this stage. Tim Paine is 36 and is an elite athlete who could play for another couple of years I feel. Certainly, for someone like Usman Khawaja, 33 is not old.
While veteran Australian former captain Michael Clarke criticize the decision:
I find it very hard to believe that someone with the talent and the runs behind him over 10 years isn’t in Australia’s top 20 players. I would like to think it’s nothing personal. I don’t think Justin Langer is like that.