AUS vs PAK, 1st Test: Controversy Brewing In Perth As Usman Khawaja Plans To Wear Shoes Supporting Palestine

AUS vs PAK, 1st Test: Controversy Brewing In Perth As Usman Khawaja Plans To Wear Shoes Supporting Palestine

Usman Khawaja wore shoes which read "Freedom is a human right" and "All lives are equal" while training with his teammates ahead of the first Test against Pakistan.

Rohan SenUpdated: Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 07:08 PM IST
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Australia opener Usman Khawaja attracted a lot of eyeballs during his team's training session in Perth on Tuesday due to his shoes which had a message supporting the Palestine victims amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza strip.

Khawaja wore shoes which read "Freedom is a human right" and "All lives are equal" while training with his teammates ahead of the first Test against Pakistan which starts on December 14.

And Khawaja plans to wear the same shoes on the first day of the Test match as well.

The 36-year-old has been quite vocal in his support for Palestinians and recently posted a video condemning the war.

"A great question. Do people not care about innocent humans being killed? Or is it the colour of their skin that makes them less important? Or the religion they practice? These things should be irrelevant if you truly believe that 'we are all equal'. #gaza #humanity #equality #alllivesmatter," Khawaja wrote in the caption after posting video of a news report from ground zero.

Khawaja might land himself in trouble

But his gesture of showing solidarity with Palestinians might attract a fine or punishment from the match referee as the International Cricket Council (ICC) does not allow such political messages on the field of play.

The ICC code states: "Players and team officials shall not be permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey messages through arm bands or other items affixed to clothing or equipment unless approved in advance by the player or team official’s board.

"Approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes."

Past instances of players displaying political messages

Notably, England all-rounder Moeen Ali had done something similar during a Test match against when he wore wrist bands which read "Save Gaza" and "Free Palestine" but he was asked to remove the accessory.

Pakistan wicketkeeper Muhammad Rizwan recently faced backlash from netizens and critics for tweeting in support of the victims of the war in Gaza after his match-winning knock against Sri Lanka in the league stage of the ICC World Cup 2023 in Hyderabad in November.

A pro-Palestine supporter had even interrupted the World Cup final between India and Australia on November 19 in Ahmedabad when he broke the security cordon and stormed onto the field to hug Virat Kohli at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

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