Australian opener Usman Khawaja has found himself in a tangle with authorities for the past few days for his desire to speak up for the ongoing crisis in Gaza and now has been pulled up by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Khawaja sported a black armband in the first Test against Pakistan in Perth in a bid to show solidarity with the lives lost in the Gaza crisis after he was barred from wearing shoes bearing messages “all lives are equal” and “freedom is a human right” which he was wearing during the training.
However, now a few days after the series opener against Pakistan, Khawaja has been reprimanded by the ICC for wearing the black armband without official approval from Cricket Australia and the ICC.
“Usman Khawaja has been charged for breaching Clause F of the Clothing and Equipment Regulations,” an ICC spokesperson said.
“Usman displayed a personal message (arm band) during the first Test Match against Pakistan without seeking the prior approval of Cricket Australia and the ICC to display it, as required in the regulations for personal messages. This is a breach under the category of an ‘other breach’ and the sanction for a first offence is a reprimand,” he added.
This was the first such sanction for Khawaja and even three more sanctions will amount to only a 75 per cent fine of match fees for Khawaja. Hence, Khawaja is in no doubt to play the rest of the two matches unless an injury or a forced change. However, how Khawaja reacts to this in the second Test at the MCG will be interesting to see.
Australia won the series opener in Perth by 360 runs and will be keen to seal the series in the Boxing Day Test starting at the MCG on December 26.
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