Following the ICC’s denial of Khawaja’s application to wear the logo during the Boxing Day Test, Australia captain Pat Cummins says there is no distinction between teammate Marnus Labuschagne, who wears an eagle on his bat to represent a personal religious message, and Usman Khawaja, who wears a dove logo on his shoe and bat to raise awareness of humanitarian issues.

In accordance to article one of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” Khawaja submitted a request to the International Court of Justice (ICC) to have a little dove holding an olive branch displayed on his shoe and bat during the Test match. They ought to behave kindly toward one another because they are endowed with conscience and reason.”

However, the ICC rejected his application, citing that “Personal messages of this nature are not allowed as per Clause F of the Clothing and Equipment Regulations, which can be found on the ICC Playing Conditions page,” even though he was given permission by Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association to display it. The International Cricket Council (ICC) endorses athletes who utilize their platforms to advance human rights, peace, and equality outside of the playing field, and they would be well advised to keep do so.”

In international cricket, Labuschagne has been permitted to have the sticker of an eagle, which stands for a biblical verse, on the back of his bats for a long time. As permitted by ICC regulations, nearly every Australian player, including Khawaja, has numerous advertising stickers representing different firms on their bats, including their bat/equipment sponsor and a secondary personal sponsor.

Speaking on Christmas Day, 24 hours before the second Test match between Australia and Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Cummins said he could not see any distinction between Labuschagne’s use of a religious symbol and Khawaja’s effort to use a logo that referenced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Not really, no – I don’t know the ins and outs of the application, but I think it is pretty vanilla, a dove,” Cummins replied.

“I think Uzzy is standing up for what he believes in and doing it incredibly responsibly, so we really support him.

“I don’t believe it’s very insulting to argue that all lives are equal, and I’d say the same about the dove. That’s Uzzy. He can be proud of the approach he’s taken, but regulations are in place, and I think the ICC has stated that they won’t support it. You have to abide by the regulations that they have established.”

Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding is furious over the decision and has accused the ICC of using unfair bias.

“If it had been most other organizations that showed some semblance of consistency with their attitude and behavior’s on issues I could claim surprise, but not them,” Holding stated to the Weekend Australian. “Once again they show their hypocrisy and lack of moral standing as an organization.”

During the first Test match against Pakistan in Perth, Khawaja was accused by the ICC of violating the same Clause F of the Clothing and Equipment Regulations by donning a black armband. Having informed the governing board that it was for a “personal bereavement,” he stated he would contest the allegation, but he also indicated he wouldn’t wear one during the MCG Test.

Khawaja donned the armband despite his initial intention to walk onto the field bearing training-related insignia on his shoes—”all lives are equal” and “freedom is a human right”—in an effort to draw attention to the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Speaking last Friday at the MCG, Khawaja expressed his opinion that the ICC was not consistently enforcing its own rules.

“They asked me on day two [in Perth] what it was for and told them it was for a personal bereavement,” he stated regarding the wristband. “I never said it was for any other purpose. Those shoes, I’m glad to report, were another story. To me, the armband is incomprehensible. I complied with all rules and previous precedents, including those of people who had put stickers on their bats and names on their shoes and had done a variety of other things without ICC consent before, all without ever receiving criticism.”

“I honor the regulations and guidelines established by the ICC. I’ll be questioning them and arguing that they officiate consistently and fairly for all parties involved. That consistency still needs to be achieved. I was extremely forthright and truthful about that. I will handle things with the ICC.

When Khawaja wore the armband on his first day in Perth, no official statement was made, but at the time it was assumed to be in reference to the video he had shared on social media following his denial that he could display the inscriptions on his shoes.


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