Australia’s Khawaja Reprimanded by ICC over Black Band Supporting Palestine

Fri Dec 22 2023
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PERTH, Australia: Australian batsman, Usman Khawaja, has been reprimanded by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for donning a black armband in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza during the initial cricket test against Pakistan.

ICC regulations prohibit players from showcasing messages of political, religious or racial causes during international matches.

Khawaja, the first Muslim to represent Australia in test cricket and a native of Pakistan, faces a charge for violating clothing and equipment regulations, as confirmed by an ICC spokesperson to Australian media. While he can accept a warning and continue playing, any recurrence of wearing the armband in the second test against Pakistan in Melbourne next Tuesday may result in additional penalties.

During an event at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday, Khawaja explained that the black armband signified a “personal bereavement.” Although he intends to challenge the charge, he has committed not to wear the armband during the Melbourne test.

The 37-year-old cricketer had previously worn shoes with the slogans “freedom is a human right” and “all lives are equal” in the colours of the Palestinian flag during training before the first test in Perth. Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese expressed support for Khawaja, stating that the “all lives are equal” message was non-controversial and not intended as a political statement.

Australia emerged victorious in the first test, securing a 360-run win in four days. The third test is slated to commence on January 3 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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