The fourth test match of the Ashes 2023 series is set to start on Wednesday at the Emirates Oval in Manchester. The game at Old Trafford will witness England go into the with the series in favor of Australia at 2-1. The Australians had won the first two tests at Edgbaston and Lords.
England, then came back to win the third test match at Leeds in a emotionally charged atmosphere. The fourth test match at Manchester will be a good chance for Ben Stokes and his men to make a good comeback into the series with the ground being a known happy hunting ground for the hosts.
The story so far –
Ashes 2023 has been an emotionally charged series for not only the players but also the fans. The English and Australian teams were fined for their slow over rates during the course of the first three tests. The teams were also docked a few points after the 1st game at Edgbaston. The ICC just a few days ago made some changes to the rule as far as the over-rate is concerned. This effectively means, the fines levied on the two teams will now stand null and void.
Usman Khawaja makes a huge claim –
Australian opener Usman Khawaja has now made a huge claim speaking to the media ahead of the 4th test. The 36 year old left hander seemingly has said that he got In touch with Wasim Khan who happens to be the General Manager for the ICC.
Khawaja while speaking to the media was heard saying “I’ve known Wasim Khan, he was part of Pakistan Cricket Board and I played in the PSL so got to know him. Just kept in touch and he is now GM in the ICC. I’m an ACA (Australian Cricket Association) board member so I do look at what’s around cricket”
Did Khawaja play a role in the new rule change via soft lobbying tactics?
One of the things that shocked many fans is the fact that an active cricketer was able to influence the amendment to the rule change. If we go by what Usman Khawaja said, it is pretty evident that the left hander used his relations with Wasim Khan to change the rule.
Khawaja further said while speaking to the media “I just thought someone has to find a way to speak to the ICC about it. We had played 3 games and they’d been really good three games, with results, entertainment. The WTC final was the highest watched test match ever or something like that. Just really good stuff. And we are getting fined 80% of our match fee. It’s a lot of money.
Sometimes I really wonder what kind of intellectual bandwidth helps the International Cricket Council (#ICC) function from time to time.— KSR (@KShriniwasRao) July 18, 2023
The #Ashes is important to Test cricket. Understandable.
But how privileged are those who play it that they managed to convince the ICC to… pic.twitter.com/BJKo0Sj7fC
Indian journalist questions the move –
K Srinivas Rao is a noted journalist in the cricket circles. The scribe put up the video of Khawaja’s quotes and wrote a lengthy tweet where in he called out the ICC and the apparent claims made by the Australian opener. You can read the Tweet by Srinivas Rao and the video by Usman Khawaja.