Usman Khawaja reacted to the International Cricket Council’s ‘double standards’ after being informed that he can’t have a dove sticker on his bat and shoes in the Boxing Day Test. The ICC told the Australian cricketer that he would be in breach of its rules if he displayed the stickers during the match against Pakistan.
In response, Khawaja criticized the ICC for enforcing its equipment rules and pointed out the hypocrisy by sharing pictures of other international players who have featured symbols on their bats without facing consequences from the ICC. Australian captain Pat Cummins supported Khawaja and described the dove symbol as ‘pretty vanilla’ and defended his teammate’s right to have strong beliefs.
Khawaja has been in a similar situation before, as he was charged by the ICC for wearing a black armband without permission during a previous Test and for wearing plain black shoes with a message that went against ICC rules. The ICC also rejected Khawaja’s request to have a personal message logo on his bat for the remainder of the Test series.
Despite the ban, Khawaja wants to show his support for those affected by the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. The ICC has encouraged him to continue his stance ‘outside the playing arena’. This is not the first time a player has faced such restrictions, as other international players have also been asked to remove symbols or messages from their equipment in the past.