Khawaja delivered bitter blow in fight against ICC

Khawaja delivered bitter blow in fight against ICC

Usman Khawaja has had his appeal against the ICC rejected, with the governing body doubling down on their sanction of the Australian Test opener.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the black armband worn by the 37-year-old during the first Test against Pakistan has been deemed against the regulations, despite Khawaja’s insistence that it was for a personal grievance.

The left-hander was forced to cover up his initial plans in Perth to wear shoes that read “All lives are equal” and “Freedom is a human right” after Cricket Australia intervened due to the strict ICC rules.

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Speaking to media following the initial news of the sanction, Khawaja explained his viewpoint and the reasons behind his black armband decision.

“They asked me on day two what it was for and [I] told them it was for a personal bereavement. I never ever stated it was for anything else,” he said.

“The shoes were a different matter, I’m happy to say that. The armband makes no sense to me. I followed all the regulations, past precedents, guys that put stickers on their bats, names on their shoes, done all sorts of things in the past without ICC approval and never been reprimanded. I respect the ICC and the rules and regulations they have.

“I will be asking them and contesting they make it fair and equitable for everyone and they have consistency in how they officiate. That consistency hasn’t been done yet.”

At this stage, the ICC is yet to formally announce its findings relating to Khawaja’s appeal, with a statement expected in the coming days. 

Khawaja would continue his human rights push in the Boxing Day Test, placing stickers of a dove and peace sign on his bat – a move which was given the tick of approval by Cricket Australia and Australian Cricketers’ Association, but ultimately turned down by the ICC once again.

The veteran opener, who was born in Pakistan and moved to Australia at a young age, has become an advocate for a wide range of human rights issues and will also headline CA’s brand-new Multicultural Action Plan, designed to increase participation and presence of southeast Asian players, coaches and administrators in the sport.

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