There is one Australian cricketer in Bangladesh for whom Eid-ul-Azha is more than an opportunity to immerse in local culture. For batsman Usman Khawaja, today was the biggest celebration in his religion, a faith he shares with a majority of Bangladeshis, but he got a taste of one of the shadier hues of Eid’s local colour palette when his shoes vanished from the Dampara mosque in Chittagong during Eid prayers.
A report in ESPNCricinfo says that Khawaja could not find his shoes after the morning prayers, which he attended with Bangladesh rivals Mominul Haque and Sabbir Rahman.
Apparently, the shoes remain lost. When asked on whether Twitter whether he found them, Khawaja replied: "No, did you take them?" He will learn soon enough that shoes lost in mosques are as irretrievable as luckless ships in the Bermuda Triangle.
The minor mishap, which Bangladeshis are all too aware of and irritated by as often shoes are mistakenly identified at mosques, did not dampen the Australian number three’s Eid spirit. “Grateful to find brothers from across the globe to celebrate. Eid Mubarak to everyone! Inshaallah you have all had a great day. #bangladesh,” Khawaja posted n twitter at around midday.
The Eid break saw a respite from the competitive and hard-fought series which Bangladesh leads 1-0 with a memorable 20-run victory in the first Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
Hostilities will resume again on September 4 with the second and last Test of Australia’s tour at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong, where the visitors will look to avoid embarrassment and gain a share of the spoils while the hosts will look to create history with a first ever Test series win over a team other than Zimbabwe or West Indies.