The International Cricket Council (ICC) denied Australia batter Usman Khawaja’s attempt to spread awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The ICC declined Khawaja’s latest application to display an image of a dove and an olive branch on his bat and shoes. The ICC’s clothing and equipment regulations prohibit players and team officials from displaying personal messages on their clothing or equipment.
According to ESPNcricinfo, the left-handed batter displayed the logo on his shoe and on the back of the bat on Sunday during Australia’s training session.
The logo that Khawaja intends to display is a reference to Article One of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which reads, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
“The ICC, after giving due consideration to Usman Khawaja’s request for a personal message logo on his bat for the remainder of the Test series against Pakistan, did not approve the application. Personal messages of this nature are not allowed as per Clause F of the Clothing and Equipment Regulations, which can be found on the ICC Playing Conditions page. The ICC is supportive of players using their platforms outside of the playing arena to promote human rights, peace and equality and would encourage him to continue to use alternative platforms,” an ICC spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo.
The left-handed batter was charged under the same clause for wearing a black armband during the first Test against Pakistan in Perth without any prior approval.
Khawaja wore the armband on the field instead of writing and wearing the message “all lives are equal” and “freedom is a human right,” as he originally intended to, in order to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
Though black armbands are regularly worn by players to mourn the deaths of former players, family members or other significant individuals, they need permission from the national board and the ICC before they are worn.
Khawaja is in contention to return to the field during the second Test of the three-match series between Australia and Pakistan on Tuesday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
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