Khawaja in strife with ICC again after another peaceful protest gets shut down before Boxing Day Test


Usman Khawaja has tried to make another protest and again been rebuked by the ICC after he placed a dove sticker on his bat and shoes at training on Sunday during a net session ahead of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

The stickers featured a black dove, the international symbol for peace, on an olive branch but the ICC has already told the Australian opening batter that he would again be in breach of its guidelines if they appeared on his equipment during Tuesday’s match at the MCG against Pakistan.

His bat also contained a “UDHR” reference to article one of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”.

Khawaja had insisted on Friday that the black armband he wore during the Perth Test was for a “personal bereavement” after being charged by the ICC.

He has ruled out wearing the black armband again for the second match of the series.

Khawaja wants to show his support for those suffering during the ongoing conflict in the Middle East but the ICC has already charged him, four days after the first Test at Optus Stadium ended, for breaching the players’ code of conduct regarding equipment and clothing regulations.

Before that match, Khawaja wrote on his boots “All lives are equal” and “Freedom is a human right”.

Usman Khawaja looks on while waiting to bat during an Australian nets session at the WACA on December 11, 2023 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Khawaja has pointed out the double standards of the ICC’s rules – his teammate Marnus Labuschagne’s bat features a similar-sized sticker depicting an eagle for religious reasons.

The Indian men’s team wore caps with a camouflage design four years ago in solidarity with their paramilitary police after officers were killed in a militant attack by a Pakistan-based group.

West Indies opener Chris Gayle was told by the ICC in 2021 to remove a sticker which read “The Universe Boss”, his self-appointed nickname, during a T20 series against Australia.

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