AUS vs PAK, 1st Test: Usman Khawaja Might Be Banned From Taking Field Over Shoes With Slogans Supporting Palestine

AUS vs PAK, 1st Test: Usman Khawaja Might Be Banned From Taking Field Over Shoes With Slogans Supporting Palestine

Australian opener Usman Khawaja could be banned from taking the field in Perth over non-complaint shoes.

Aakash SinghUpdated: Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 09:28 AM IST
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Usman Khawaja and his 'non-complaint' shoes. | (Credits: Twitter)

Veteran Australian opener Usman Khawaja could be prohibited from taking the field on day 1 of the 1st Test against Pakistan in Perth if he ceases to remove the shoes containing slogans of expressing solidarity with Palestinians amid their ongoing conflict with Israel. According to media reports, Khawaja's decision to walk out with 'non-compliant shoes might result in a series of sanctions, ranging from a reprimand to a fine.

The current ICC clothing regulations allows the match referee from banning a player to take part in a match, especially if sporting a logo or wording on the same is 'non-compliant'. During Tuesday's training sessions, the opening batter wore shoes with slogans 'Freedom is a human right' and 'All lives are equal' and it emerged that he would wear the same in the opening Test.

What does ICC regulations say?

According to the ICC regulations, 'any clothing or equipment that does not comply with these regulations is strictly prohibited. In particular, no logo shall be permitted to be displayed on cricket clothing or cricket equipment, other than a national logo, a commercial logo, an event logo, a manufacturer’s logo, a player’s bat logo, a charity logo or a non-commercial logo as provided in these regulations.'

'In addition, where any match official becomes aware of any clothing or equipment that does not comply with these regulations, he shall be authorised to prevent the offending person from taking the field of play (or to order them from the field of play, if appropriate) until the non-compliant clothing or equipment is removed or appropriately covered up.'

Federal Sports Minister backs Usman Khawaja's stance:

During a press conference in Perth on Wednesday, Federal Sports Minister Anika Wells observed that Khawaja has every right to speak on the matters that are important to him. As quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald, Wells claimed:

"Usman Khawaja is a great athlete. Usman Khawaja is a great Australian and he has every right to speak up on matters that are important to him. I think he has done it in a peaceful and respectful way, and as a way that he as an individual can express an individual opinion that doesn’t compromise the Australian cricket team’s obligations to the ICC."

With Australian Pat Cummins set for a press conference on Wednesday, he is likely to address the question.

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