Usman Khawaja learned to cop criticism a long time ago but a deeply personal column resulted in his character being critiqued rather than his cricket.
Khawaja penned a piece five months ago on PlayersVoice, opening up about how he was racially vilified as a child and sledged about his heritage as a junior cricketer.
The Pakistan-born batsman, who moved to Sydney when he was four, also highlighted how "Australian cricket is slowly changing and will finally have a chance to reflect what Australia really is - an international team truly representative of its richly diverse population".
Right-wing commentator Andrew Bolt dubbed Khawaja a "lousy victim of our alleged racism", while social media lit up with a range of responses.
"I got a lot of good feedback, some negative feedback too. That was expected when you write a column like that," Khawaja told reporters in South Africa.
"I'm fine with that. It doesn't really bother me too much. The good far outweighs the bad.
"I'm used to it now. I've got plenty of negative feedback and criticism from the media before.
"I felt like if I wrote that story and it helped even one person to relate to where I came from or where they are right now; to help them achieve what they want, then it was a good enough reason to do it."
Khawaja was reluctant to speak about his upbringing early in his international career, when Cricket Australia made no secret of its desire to use him as a marketing weapon to try to shake the sport's reputation of being pale, male and stale in Australia.
But times are changing.
"I was just trying to explain a story of mine truthfully. It's probably not something I wouldn't have said or talked about a few years ago," Khawaja said.
"I think it's important. Australia is growing - both in a sense of the cricketing country, who is playing and where cricketers are coming from, and Australia as a whole.
"In Brisbane, at the mosque I go to, there's a lot of refugees and immigrants. I talk to them about cricket and football and all sorts of other things.
"I love playing cricket and that's my first and foremost, trying to win games for Australia. The rest of it ... I'm not out there actively being something that I'm not."