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Updated January 5th, 2024 at 15:11 IST

'If it is, I'm retiring': Usman Khawaja issues ultimatum to Cricket Australia in AUS vs PAK 3rd Test

After play was halted on the second day of the third match between Australia and Pakistan, Usman Khawaja daringly issued an ultimatum to the ICC.

Reported by: Aryan Suraj Chadha
Usman Khawaja
Australia's Usman Khawaja, left and teammate Travis Head walk off the ground after warming up before their cricket test match against Pakistan | Image: AP
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With a score of 68/7 in their second innings, Pakistan leads Australia by 82 runs at the end of Day 3 of the third Test match. Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc were instrumental in holding Pakistan to 68 runs. In just 5 overs, Hazlewood claimed 4 wickets for just 9 runs, while Starc also chipped in with a wicket. With 33 runs, Saim Ayub led Pakistan's scorers.  Pakistan had earlier scored 313 in their opening innings, to which Australia could only muster 299 in reply. The game is still very much in the balance; however, the match has faced many delays and has been called at stumps owing to bad light and weather on Day 2 and Day 3 of the match. Both sides want to win, as PAK sees redemption as Australia already leads 2-0 (series win secured).

3 things you need to know 

  • Australia leads the series against Pakistan by 2-0 
  • Australia look to win the series without any loss 
  • Pakistan look to prevent whitewash against Australia 

Usman Khwaja made a huge statement regarding his retirement from Test cricket

Australian star Usman Khawaja has declared that pink balls are not the answer to light-related stoppages in play. He has gone so far as to say that if pink balls are used exclusively in Test cricket, he would think about retiring.

On January 4, play was paused owing to poor lighting at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and the umpires opted to call the game off based on their judgement, around 40 minutes before rain disrupted play.

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This move irritated cricket luminaries such as Michael Vaughan, who criticised the numerous delays in Test cricket owing to poor lighting. To continue the game, Vaughan proposed using pink balls.

Australia was down by 197 runs following Pakistan's first-innings total of 313, reigniting the controversy about the usage of pink balls in Test matches to solve delays created by bad light conditions. Critics believe that the pink ball is better visible in poor lighting and that letting the game to continue will improve the spectator experience. Khawaja, on the other hand, is vehemently opposed to the concept, citing the distinctive character of the red ball in Test cricket as well as its historical significance.

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What did Usman Khwaja say on the issue?

According to nine.com.au, Australian batsman Usman Khawaja has claimed that if Test cricket permanently moved to the pink ball, he would consider retiring since he feels it is not a feasible answer. Khawaja emphasised that the red ball has a distinct personality and behaves differently than its white and pink siblings.

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"If it is, I'm retiring," 

"I personally think it's not (the solution). The red ball is so distinct. I play white ball, I play pink ball, I play red ball and they all react so differently.

"Nothing reacts like that red ball. How they make it, the dye they put on it."

"But I don't make those laws, I don't make those rules."

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Published January 5th, 2024 at 14:15 IST

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