Usman Khawaja thanks Pat Cummins, teammates for Ashes gesture

Australian star Usman Khawaja thanked captain Pat Cummins and his teammates for a moment that will define the new skipper’s captaincy for a long time.

As the Australians celebrated their 4-0 series win, Khawaja, who is Muslim, jumped off the stage as the champagne bottles were being opened.

Cummins noticed Khawaja was absent and told players to put the bottles down before calling on Khawaja to return to the stage.

Khawaja posted footage of the moment on social media and praised his teammates for keeping him included.

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“If this video doesn’t show you that the boys have my back, I don’t know what will,” Khawaja said.

“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.”

It was an incredibly classy gesture from Cummins, who has enjoyed a stellar debut Test series since being appointed as captain.

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“We’ve got a really diverse bunch of people and you want to celebrate that and you want to make sure everyone feels comfortable being themselves. That was just one moment,” Cummins said.

“The boys are fantastic in that space. They always look after each other. It’s a really tight-knit group.

“I think one of the reasons is there is a lot of respect and love for each other. We had to make sure our teammate was in the photo with us.”

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