Pat on Cummins’ back for holding champagne shower for Usman Khawaja
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Australian captain Pat Cummins' leadership qualities were on full display even after his side sealed a 4-0 Ashes series win as he ensured Usman Khawaja, the first Muslim cricketer to play for Australia, was not showered by champagne amid the celebrations.
As his winning teammates started popping champagne bottles on the stage at Hobart's Bellerive Oval, Khawaja stepped aside to avoid being sprayed with alcohol in keeping with his religious beliefs.
Khawaja, who played the last two matches of the five-test series, returned to the stage and kneeled beside Pat Cummins as the victorious side let out a roar posing for the cameras.
If this video doesn't show you that the boys have my back, I don't know what will. They stopped their normal champagne celebrations so I could rejoin. Inclusivity in the game and our values as a sport are so important. I feel like we are trending in the right direction 🙏🏾🇦🇺 https://t.co/LrthzP9v2N— Usman Khawaja (@Uz_Khawaja) January 17, 2022
“Usman is obviously Muslim, so he doesn't like the champagne being thrown,” Cummins, who also finished as the highest wicket-taker in the series victory over England, told reporters. “I just made sure he got up there and no champagne was thrown.” Cummins' “classy” gesture went viral on social media and was praised by fans as wells as former England cricketer Isa Guha.
It’s so cool that this blew up.— Fux League (@buttsey888) January 17, 2022
Just a good bloke doing good bloke stuff and 99% of the responses were positive. 👏
This makes me happy. https://t.co/dnkkyxpQsh
“Good leader always looks after the team as a whole and respects everyone equally and @patcummins30 has shown to be that leader,” former Pakistan fast bowler Umar Gul said on Twitter.
Pat Cummins ❤️ https://t.co/ZjEyxfEL87— Isa Guha (@isaguha) January 16, 2022
One Twitter user said Cummins, in his first series as captain, was a “fantastic role model”. “Take a bow, Captain Cummins. Inclusive, respectful, decent and humble leadership,” the user wrote.
Playing his first test in 2-1/2 years, Khawaja smashed a hundred in each innings of the fourth match in Sydney batting in the middle order.
Opening the innings in Hobart, the left-hander scored six and 11 but still finished as the fifth highest scorer in the five-match series.