Opening batter Usman Khawaja has got the all-clear from Cricket Australia to wear the dove and olive branch logo on his bat during the Big Bash League (2023-24).
CA held an emergency meeting after Khawaja wrote to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to ask for approval to use the logo on his bat during the Tests against Pakistan and the West Indies.
The dove and olive branch logo references article one of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
ICC's disapproval and Khawaja's subsequent protest
But cricket's world governing body rejected Khawaja's plea like it had earlier disallowed Khawaja from sporting the messages of 'All Lives Are Equal' and 'Freedom is a Human Right' on his shoes during the ongoing Test series against Pakistan.
He was then reprimanded for wearing a black armband in the Perth Test last month to protest against the ICC's decision.
Khawaja wanted to wear the messages and logo on his sporting gear to highlight the plight of the victims and families devastated by the ongoing war between the Israel and Palestinians on the Gaza Strip.
Khawaja's emotional plea
“I feel strongly about the right of every human being to enjoy peace, freedom and equality in dignity and rights regardless of their gender, age, colour, race, language, religion or national or social origin,” Khawaja wrote in his application to the ICC, which also featured an indicative diagram of the logo and its possible placement on the back of his bat.
ICC rules against 'political messages'
He wrote the messages on his shoes which he has been wearing in the recent practice sessions but his request to do the same during the matches has been disapproved by the ICC as it does not allow political messages to be highlighted by players in international cricket.
According to the ICC, "Personal messages of this nature are not allowed as per Clause F of the Clothing and Equipment Regulations".
Australian team, PM rally behind Khawaja
The Australian cricket team led by Pat Cummins has been firmly behind Khawaja in this matter, and he even has the backing of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who praised the Pakistan-born cricketer's courage to show solidarity towards the victims of the conflict in the Middle East.
“I’d also like to congratulate your opening partner for the courage he has shown standing up for human values. He has shown courage and the fact the team has backed him in is a great thing,” Albanese said.
CA also backing Uzzy
The Aussie cricket board is also rallying behind Khawaja and allowed him to express his feelings on the issue in the BBL, whenever he plays for the Brisbane Heat this summer.
“At a time when there is such a loss of life and liberty in the world – most recently in the Middle East – I would like to promote a personal message of peace, freedom and equality by displaying an internationally recognised symbol of peace and freedom – a dove with a sprig – on the back of my bat together with the phrase “01: UDHR” (Logo).
“At a time like this, I think it is incumbent on everyone to do what they can to promote these fundamental rights,” Khawaja wrote. “I believe that displaying the above Logo on my bat is a small but meaningful way to do this," Khawaja further wrote to the ICC.