The plot thickens.
And thickens and thickens and thickens some more.
On the eve of the first Test between India and Australia at the Adelaide Oval, news that Usman Khawaja’s brother Arsalan Tariq Khawaja was arrested in Sydney had our eyes riveted to the feed.
They got the wrong bloke.
Virat Kohli is the one they need to arrest.
The Baggy Green needs Usman at his best, but news that his brother was arrested on a charge of terrorism over accusations that he framed a colleague with a bogus fake terror hit list targeting senior politicians is the sort of thing that could rock the equilibrium of even someone with Usman’s reputation of staying composed in the face of anything.
The rest of the squad has rallied around Khawaja and coach Justin Langer said the situation was not a distraction and that all is well ahead of the first Test.
“We look after each other as well as we can. One of our values is our mates,” Langer told radio station SEN.“We’re keeping an eye on Uzzy. It was obviously a little bit of a shock for him yesterday.He’s got great family support, great support around him. I know his wife’s here with him and we’ll look after him.”
At the centre of the situation with Khawaja’s brother was a feud with a colleague over a woman. Hopefully, there is no duel in the offing.
Australia will need Khawaja’s bat to be in the same sort of form he displayed on the Adelaide Oval when he slugged 145 against the Proteas in 2016, or the 141 haul he took in October in the UAE that helped Australia salvage a draw with Pakistan.
Khawaja asked the media to, “Please respect my privacy and my family’s privacy,” but in Australia, cricket players have the same sort of privacy that bacteria in a Petri dish under a microscope enjoy.