His renaissance in Australia’s Test side has been one of the inspiring sport stories of recent years — but Usman Khawaja is already thinking about what comes next.
As well as hitting boundaries, born again batsman Usman Khawaja will also be hitting the books on the road this season.
Or at least the online version of them.
Always his own man, Khawaja will undertake a path no Australian Test cricketer has taken as he studies for a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) while touring with the Australian team.
Former fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz also has an MBA but completed it after his two decade cricket career ended.
Khawaja, who has averaged 98 for the calendar year in a stunning resurgence featuring four centuries in seven Tests, will have a Bond University sticker on the back of his bat this summer to salute the Gold Coast University he has decided to join.
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“After cricket I want to expand my horizons and give myself opportunities in the future,’’ said Khawaja, who also has a Bachelor of Aviation degree.
“I still very much want to play cricket for a little while and after that I still probably want to be involved in cricket in some respect. Whether commentating or media, whatever it may be.
“That’s probably the path I prefer, but who knows will happen later on in life and I’m always inquisitive. Things might be different for me at 40, 50 or 60. If I want to join a board down the track this will help my knowledge base.
“We’re going to have a crack. I love the (Bond Uni) campus but the most important thing to me was the people and attention to detail. It’s a relatively small campus in terms of admissions so you have more chance to interact with your lecturers and tutors on a personal level.”
“They give options to be able to do my degree and to play cricket at the same time.
“It is supposed to be a year and half of study but I will dip my toes in and go pretty slowly. I will study on tour and it could be a good time to study.’’
In some ways Khawaja’s decision to study while on tour shows my he has reinvigorated himself as an international player.
The father of two has realised there more to life than cricket and he feels the acceptance of that fact freed his mindset.
“It’s just perspective – as I am talking to you I am holding my daughter and am moving her from one arm to the other. It’s just different phases of your life.’’
Bond University Vice Chancellor, Professor Tim Brailsford, said Khawaja would join a distinguished line of sports scholars to have studied at Bond including many Olympians.
“The Bond Elite Sports Program supports dozens of top-tier athletes and complements our well-regarded sports science and related research programs,” Professor Brailsford said.
Originally published as Australia v New Zealand third ODI news: Usman Khawaja to juggle university and cricket
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