Cricket Australia warns batter Usman Khawaja against making Gaza message

Cricket Australia warns batter Usman Khawaja against making Gaza message
Cricket Australia warns batter Usman Khawaja against making Gaza message

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Cricket Australia warns batter Usman Khawaja against making Gaza message in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - BRISBANE — Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja has been warned against showing an on-field message in support of Palestinians at a Test match with Pakistan.

The batter had planned to wear shoes bearing the words "all lives are equal" and "freedom is a human right".

Australia's cricket authority has said Khawaja must abide by international rules prohibiting "personal messages".

Captain Pat Cummins and Australia's sport minister have supported Khawaja, but he will no longer wear the shoes.

Khawaja, who is Muslim, was spotted sporting the shoes earlier this week while training for the upcoming Test in Perth and has previously spoken on social media in support of civilians in Gaza.

"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'," he commented on a Unicef Instagram video.

But after news of Khawaja's plans broke, Cricket Australia on Wednesday put out a statement saying: "We support the right of our players to express personal opinions. But the ICC [International Cricket Council] has rules in place which prohibit the display of personal messages which we expect the players to uphold."

Cummins later told media Khawaja had decided against wearing the shoes when the Test begins on Thursday.

"I don't think his intention was to make too big of a fuss," he said.

"I think he had 'all lives are equal'. I don't think that's very divisive. I don't think anyone can have too many complaints about that."

Sport Minister Anika Wells told reporters she did not believe his shoes contravened ICC rules.

"Usman Khawaja is a great athlete and a great Australian. He should have every right to speak up on matters that are important to him. He has done so in a peaceful and respectful way," she said.

But former Australian cricketers Rodney Hogg and Simon O'Donnell have said the field is not the place for political statements.

"I fully respect Usman Khawaja's beliefs personally... but while he's representing Australia he has no right, nil, zero, to bring his personal beliefs and instil those onto others," O'Donnell told local SEN radio.

Under ICC rules, players and officials cannot display anything on their clothing or equipment without the governing body's approval, with "potentially divisive" or political messages banned.

The regulations also empower referees to stop players taking the field if they are wearing any "non-compliant" items — as happened in 2014 when England batter Moeen Ali was warned to stop wearing wristbands showing support for Gaza during a Test match with India. — BBC


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