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Greg Chappell defends brother Ian after Usman Khawaja barb

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Sydney, Nov 13 (IANS) Former Australian captain Greg Chappell has defended his brother, Ian, over comments made by Pakistan-origin cricketer Usman Khawaja about his credentials during his playing days.

With Khawaja in contention for a place in the Ashes squad, Ian Chappell was recently quoted as saying that the 34-year-old left-handed batter wasn’t up to standard for international cricket and was just a “good player against mediocre bowling”.

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Khawaja hit back, saying Ian Chappell was “not even the best player in his family”.

“I don’t think Ian would have minded too much,” Greg Chappell told Sportsday SA on Saturday. “He’s probably been on the receiving end of things over the journey that might have affected him a bit more than that. You know the game, you’ve got to give your opinion, you’re there to be giving your opinion.

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“Ian gave his opinion, it wasn’t necessarily a personal attack against Ussie (Usman), but I think Ussie made his comment with a good bit of humour. He knows the game as well, he knows that people get paid for their opinions; he’s paid to make runs and get on with it. It was a bit of humour, that’s all it was,” added Greg.

Despite Ian’s criticism of Khawaja, Greg feels the 34-year-old batter has a good chance to be in the Ashes squad.

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The first Ashes Test will commence at the Gabba on December 8.

“I’ve been involved on the coaching side more than Ian, and I’ve had a lot to do with Ussie and a lot of the guys that are currently playing at the highest level because of the roles I’ve had with Cricket Australia.

“I’ve had a lot to do with Ussie over the journey, he’s a very good cricketer and no doubt he’ll be in the mix when they’re talking about the final eleven for the first Test match,” added Greg.

While Australia’s chairman of selectors George Bailey has indicated Marcus Harris would partner David Warner at the top of the order in the Ashes, Khawaja could still get accommodated at No.5.

–IANS

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