A cheeky changing room moment involving Usman Khawaja and Scott Boland detailed the latter’s humbleness as he prepared to make his Australian Test debut against England at the MCG.
Boland was a relatively anonymous name to the average Australian before the third Test of the Ashes series last summer, although he had excelled for Victoria at Sheffield Shield level for several years prior.
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Speaking on Amazon Prime’s ‘The Test’ documentary, which goes behind the scenes of the Australian cricket team, BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew didn’t have much knowledge of who Boland was before the Ashes.
“I knew very little about Scott Boland and I don’t think many of my colleagues did either,” Agnew said.
SEN broadcaster Gerard Whateley added: “He could have comfortably walked down the main thoroughfare pretty much anonymous.”
Even Khawaja, who was in the squad but not playing in the Boxing Day Test, seized his chance to cheekily take advantage of the debutant.
As Boland entered the dressing room and sat down in a chair, Khawaja came in and made him move out of his seat, with spinner Mitchell Swepson detailing the incident.
“Scotty was sitting here and Uzzie walked in and was like, ‘Scotty mate, come on,’” Swepson said.
“Scotty’s now over near the coffee machine instead of where he was.
“Poor man’s on debut now and Uzzie’s not even playing. Standard Usman, really.”
Khawaja defended himself by stating he “did ask him [Boland] if he wanted to move and he said no.”
Boland then went on to deliver that incredible bowling spell in the second innings, where he took mind-boggling figures of 6/7 at his home ground.
The Victorian instantly became a cult hero across the nation for his exploits and also earned him the Johnny Mullagh medal, awarded to the player of the match in the Boxing Day Test.
Whateley likened Boland’s achievements and the magnitude of the occasion to one of the most iconic moments in Australian sport.
“Culturally, this is a profound moment,” Whateley said.
“One man soars above all the others. It’s there in the Welcome to Country, it’s there in the presentation of the Johnny Mullagh medal.
“This is the Cathy Freeman moment.”
Originally published as Cheeky changing room moment debuting Aussie cult hero Boland was brutally put in his place