Aus cricketer Khawaja's brother arrested

Aus cricketer Khawaja's brother arrested

Usman Khawaja

With less than 48 hours left for the first Test to begin against India, a beleaguered Australian team got mired into an unwanted distraction after Usman Khawaja’s brother, Arsalan Khawaja, was arrested by counter-terrorism investigators over an alleged faked terrorism plot.

Arsalan has been charged with forgery and attempting to pervert justice wherein he allegedly used fake documents, which contained concocted plans to carry out terror attacks in Australia, to set up a colleague as a fallout of a jealous dispute with him over a woman, authorities said.

Australia, who are already without two of their best batsmen in Steve Smith and David Warner, would have done without the latest controversy which has the potential to put Usman, one of Australia’s main batting stays in the current set-up, under great mental stress. Such is his position in the current Australian team that former skipper Ricky Ponting has backed hm to outscore even Virat Kohli in the four-Test series.

Usman, who made a brief statement before the media on Tuesday after the team’s practice session, requested his and his family’s privacy be respected.

“I won’t be saying much guys. It is a matter for the police to deal with. Out of respect for the process, it’d be inappropriate for me to make any further comment. I just ask you to please respect my privacy and my family’s privacy during this time.”

Australia’s vice-captain Mitchell Marsh too refused to dwell into the matter.

"We only found out at training, so I think it'd be pretty inappropriate for me to comment at the moment,” he said.

Arsalan had been questioned before by police in relation to the notebook, which resulted in the wrongful arrest of reasearch student Mohamed Kamer Nizamudeen at the New South Wales University in August.

“We believe that this was planned and it was calculated,” a probe officer said.

“We have no information to suggest that there is any ongoing threat to the community arising from our inquiries into the matter.”