Usman Khawaja makes bold prediction about cricket future as David Warner's horror IPL ends

The Australian opener believes he can play into his 40s.

Australian Test opener Usman Khawaja may be at the age where most professional sportsmen have either called it quits or are considering it but the cricket star insists he still has plenty of years left in him. Khawaja turns 38 in December but believes he can buck the trend of Australian openers pulling the pin on their careers at 37, with a lofty goal of playing into his 40s.

David Warner, Ricky Ponting, Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden all played their last Tests at 37 but with Khawaja in the best form of his career, the Test opener believes he has at least another few years at the top level. Khawaja was named the ICC Test Player of the Year in 2023 and has averaged above 50 in Tests since his return to the fold in 2022.

Pictured left Usman Khawaja and right David Warner
Usman Khawaja believes he can defy the odds and play for Australia into his 40s. Image: Getty

The batsman is currently in the midst of his first significant break from cricket in more than 18 months as he skipped the IPL and wasn't selected for the T20 World Cup. Khawaja last played a cricket match in March in Australia's short tour of New Zealand and he told Wide World of Sports that he is enjoying his cricket more than ever.

"I'm still in good nick! I'm playing every game, I reckon I'm doing all right!" Khawaja said. "Honestly, I'm still enjoying the games, I feel like I can still perform at the highest level.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 17: Australia batsman Usman Khawaja celebrates his century during day two of the  LV= Insurance Ashes 1st Test Match between England and Australia at Edgbaston on June 17, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Usman Khawaja was named the ICC Test Player of the Year in 2023.

"I just won ICC Test Player of the Year. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected to win that, particularly two or three years ago when I was out of the Test side. A lot has happened since then, and I'm really enjoying playing in this cricket team right now. I feel like I can continue to do it for the foreseeable future, but I never look too far ahead. So whether that's one, two, or three years, I have no idea.

"I'm sort of just rolling with it now, but I'm not giving myself a timeline. Every day is a gift. I'm just really just enjoying playing for Australia and being a part of the process every single day." Khawaja's goal would see him still in the national side for the Ashes series in 2025/26 when England tour Australia and for Australia's tour of India in 2024.

Warner decided to call time on his international Test and one-day career in the Aussie summer just gone, with only T20 cricket on his radar as he looks to transition into retirement. In recent years Warner has seen a downturn in runs and in the latter stages of his Test career saw himself teetering on the edge of being dropped.


He arguably got out at the right time after the Sydney Test and while he has shown glimpses of the devastating ball striker that secured spots as opener in all forms of the cricketing landscape, his best is undoubtedly behind him. At 37, he is the same age as Khawaja whose international Test career looks at an all-time peak, while Warner has just come off a horror IPL campaign.

Warner's poor form saw him dropped for the Delhi Capitals' final two matches of the IPL season, with youngster Jake Fraser-McGurk getting the nod over him. It was an underwhelming IPL campaign for the veteran batter who made 168 runs in this campaign at an average of just 21, after finishing with scores of 18, 10, 8, one and one.

Delhi Capitals' Jake Fraser-McGurk celebrates after scoring a half-century (50 runs) during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on April 27, 2024. (Photo by Money SHARMA / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo by MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)
Jake Fraser-McGurk was overlooked for Australia's upcoming T20 World Cup campaign in favour of David Warner.

Warner's experience and popularity in India means he is likely to be back in the IPL next year, but after this season may not command the fees he would like. The Aussie veteran has been one of the stars of the T20 world and played in the IPL since 2009.

The 37-year-old has made the most IPL runs of any overseas batter, third overall behind Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, and three times topped the season's run chart. But he appears on a visible decline and many have questioned why he was selected for Australia's T20 World Cup squad over the likes of 22-year-old Fraser-McGurk.