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Australia’s Khawaja wears black armband in Gaza protest

Dec. 14: Australia’s Usman Khawaja wore a black armband and put tape over messages on his shoes supporting people in Gaza in a muted protest during the first Test Thursday against Pakistan, said an AFP report.

According to the AFP report, the opening batsman had wanted to wear the shoes during the match at Perth with the hand-written messages “Freedom is a human right” and “All lives are equal” clearly visible. But he was told that it flouted International Cricket Council rules on messages during matches that relate to politics, religion or race.

With Cricket Australia saying it expected the players to uphold the rules, Khawaja covered over the slogans with semi-transparent tape leaving the words – in the colour of the Palestinian flag – visible only in close-up.

According to local media, Cricket Australia said Khawaja was wearing the armband in line with a video he recently shared on Instagram from the children’s charity UNICEF from Gaza.

In the post, Khawaja commented: “Do people not care about innocent humans being killed?”

Khawaja on Wednesday vowed to fight the ban on his footwear and doubled down on his stance just before going in to bat in the first Test.

“I just think that so much has happened in the past that sets a precedent,” Khawaja told Fox Cricket.

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