Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja criticized the International Cricket Council (ICC) for alleged double standards in allowing religious symbols on players’ equipment. Khawaja pointed out that while his teammate Marnus Labuschagne’s bat featured an eagle and a Bible verse, the ICC had raised concerns about the Om symbol on his bat. The cricketer’s remarks stirred a debate on religious symbols in cricket, questioning the consistency in the ICC’s approach.
Usman Khawaja disappointed with double standard
On Monday, Australian opener Usman Khawaja voiced his dissatisfaction with the International Cricket Council (ICC) through social media. The ICC had declined his recent request to bring attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza by featuring a depiction of a dove and an olive branch on his bat and shoes during the Boxing Day Test match against Pakistan.
Over the last week, Khawaja encountered limitations for donning shoes bearing the messages “all lives are equal” and “freedom is a human right” in the initial Test against Pakistan. Furthermore, the ICC charged him for sporting a black armband during the Perth match, a gesture he attributed to personal grief. Despite clarifying his reasons, Khawaja opted against repeating the action in the MCG Test match.
Sometimes you just gotta laugh!!
Usman, exploring an alternative, suggested featuring an image of a black dove with an olive branch, symbolizing peace, instead of written messages. He showcased the image on both his bat and shoes during training nets in Melbourne on Sunday. Despite this, the ICC rejected his request to implement the same in an international game.
Australia’s captain Pat Cummins sees no difference between the humanitarian dove Usman Khawaja will be banned from wearing on Boxing Day and the eagle and Bible verse Marnus Labuschagne will have on his bat at the MCG #AUSvPAK https://t.co/rBzN1LjzIs
— Daniel Brettig 🏏 (@danbrettig) December 25, 2023
Usman expressed disappointment with the ICC’s rejection of his request to display a picture of a dove and an olive branch on his bat and shoes during the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan. This came after previous restrictions on his messages and a charge for wearing a black armband. In response, Khawaja proposed a peaceful symbol, but the ICC denied this alternative. Khawaja shared his frustration in a video on Instagram, contrasting it with images of teammates’ unique bat designs accepted by the ICC.
Usman wrote, “Sometimes you just gotta laugh. Cya at Boxing Day! #inconsistent #doublestandards.”
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Records of Usman Khwaja
Usman Khawaja stands out as one of the world’s most accomplished and decorated cricketers, boasting an impressive array of achievements. Notably, he became the first batsman from New South Wales to achieve back-to-back double centuries for NSW Second XI. His talent was evident from the start, as he marked his First-Class debut for New South Wales in 2008 with a noteworthy score of 85 runs. Additionally, Khawaja made history by becoming the 7th non-Australian cricketer to don the Australian team colors. In the high-profile Big Bash League (BBL05), he showcased his prowess, finishing as the second-highest run-scorer with an impressive tally of 345 runs.