Australia’s Usman Khawaja might have struck a magnificent 79 at the Sydney Cricket Ground to help his team pile on a huge total against Pakistan, but the manner in which he had celebrated the feat hasn’t gone down well with a few purists of the game and the Twitteratis on social media.
Khawaja was batting on 46, when he swept Yasir Shah to the ropes to bring up his eighth fifty in 23 matches and celebrated it with a dab. The move seemed to go down well with the Australian dressing room and Captain Steve Smith, who was batting on 49, as they applauded the left-hander for his contribution.
However, moments after the celebration, a few cricket traditionalists and fans felt the move was disrespectful towards the touring Pakistan side who were eventually hammered by 220 runs in the third Test.
According to a report on The Telegraph, Khawaja had later clarified that the celebration was a pre-decided one and had been doing the rounds in the dressing room. “We’ve been joking about it (the dab) all week,” Khawaja said. “Renners (Matt Renshaw) and a few of the other lads have been talking about it so when I got to fifty I thought ‘just dab’.”
The dab isn’t an uncommon celebration. Manchester United midfielders Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard have often been found to celebrate in a similar fashion. There have been weird celebrations and bizarre send-offs in cricket as well.
From Aamir Sohail’s infamous gesture after hitting a boundary off Venkatesh Prasad in the 1996 World Cup quarter-final to the West Indian team’s celebrations after lifting the World T20 World Cups, individuals and teams have often celebrated feats and achievements in an iconic way.
Thus, while Khawaja’s celebration might in fact have been a light hearted one, the whole controversy around it might just be unfortunate.