by: TN Media News Pakistan:
Australian opener Usman Khawaja has faced a reprimand from the ICC for defying their stance on his planned shoe protest during the first Pakistan Test. Khawaja previously sparked controversy with handwritten messages on his footwear advocating for Gaza, deemed “personal messages” by the ICC and ultimately banned.
Undeterred, Khawaja took the field wearing a black armband instead, prompting caution from the governing body. While deemed less explicit than the shoe messages, the armband still violated ICC regulations requiring prior approval for such displays.
Explaining the action, an ICC spokesperson cited specific clauses of their Clothing and Equipment Regulations and acknowledged the first-offence reprimand Khawaja received. The spokesperson emphasized the need for regulations to avoid politicization or religious/racial discrimination on the field.
Khawaja remains committed to his cause, vowing to find alternative ways to express his support for human rights. Though a relatively lenient response from the ICC, this incident highlights the ongoing debate about player freedom of expression versus maintaining neutrality in cricket.