Khawaja weighs in on beer logo debate

Australia

Australia batsman Usman Khawaja says he has considered not wearing team sponsor VB's logo, given his religious background, but says he's decided against it until he becomes a more permanent member of the side.

Australia batsman Usman Khawaja says he has considered not wearing team sponsor VB's logo, given his religious background, but says he's decided against it until he becomes a more permanent member of the side.

The debate surrounding the beer logo on shirts for Muslim players reached intense levels when spinner Fawad Ahmed asked not to wear the VB logo, which Cricket Australia approved. Fawad was criticised for this, but Khawaja says he has thought about it too.

The 26-year-old Pakistan-born player admitted: "I understand what Fawad is doing and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about it. I thought about it for this Ashes campaign.

"But I probably haven't been in the Australian team for long enough to worry about it too much."

Khawaja said he had already sought the advice of South Africa batsman Hashim Amla, who set the precedent for not wearing alcohol logos, but without much fuss in his case. The main issue would be prize money handed out by VB.

Khawaja added: "I know there are a few logistical issues if I ever did do it down the track. VB are a massive sponsor for Cricket Australia so obviously there needs to be some give and take there.

"Hashim Amla, who I'm good mates with, I've talked to him about it and he's never ever forced me to do anything. He's a lovely guy. I said, 'How does it work?' He just said to me he doesn't accept prize money from whoever their alcoholic sponsor is.

"I assume if I ever did do it, that's the path I'd go down. But at the moment it's all about the cricket for me.

"I think all my friends and family know the type of guy I am and hope I do the right things to be a role model by my actions – how I carry myself on the cricket field and off it.

"I don't think I need to go out there and be too forward. My relationship with God is pretty personal and I'm a personal kind of guy so that's probably why I've kept it that way.

"I don't like to put religion on anyone or talk too much about religion because it's such a personal thing."

He didn't begrudge Fawad's approach though, adding: "I respect Fawad for what he's done. People don't know him, don't realise how Australian he actually is and he's only been here for four years."

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