Usman Khawaja, barred from donning pro-Palestine slogan shoes, displayed solidarity with the Middle East by opting for a black armband as a respectful gesture.
Australia’s opening batter Usman Khawaja was restrained by ICC regulations from wearing shoes displaying messages supporting peace in Palestine during Australia’s training session. Despite planning to wear them during the Test against Pakistan, Khawaja withdrew the plan after it caused controversy. Instead, he wore a black armband to honor those affected in the Middle East. During the match, Khawaja, alongside David Warner, batted with the black band around his right arm.
When talking to 7Cricket before the match, Khawaja highlighted the ICC’s perceived double standards, pointing out instances where other players had supported political movements without facing sanctions, expressing his frustration at the governing body’s actions.
“I think there have already been precedents set in the past that ICC have allowed. Precedents said that players have done stuff where ICC hasn’t done anything in the past. So I find it a bit unfair that they have come down on me at this point in time where there have definitely been precedents in the past of similar things,” he said.
Khawaja further expressed disappointment at the ICC’s response, asserting his commitment to standing up for his beliefs. He highlighted feeling uneasy about others finding his expressed sentiments uncomfortable, believing it shouldn’t be seen as a political stance.
“I don’t see where it becomes political. For me, and this is my personal opinion, I find it hard to accept where people find what I said distasteful. No one’s ever going to agree with everyone and I accept that. But for me it makes me feel a little bit uneasy that people find those words uneasy,” he added.
“It is what it is. I’ll always stand up for what I believe in, even if people don’t agree with me or they don’t like me saying it. I want to look back on my career and say I stood up for my values, I respect what I did on the field but I also respect myself for what I did off the field. “That for me at some level, probably at the most level, means more,” Khawaja concluded.
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Last Updated on December 14, 2023
Senior Sports Copywriter