Usman Khawaja, After Being Stopped To Don ‘Palestine Message’, Now Does This In 1st Test vs Pakistan

As Australia captain Pat Cummins won the toss and opted to bat against Pakistan in the first Test on Thursday, opening batter Usman Khawaja came out to bat wearing a black armband. Khawaja’s gesture is a mark of solidarity to show solidarity with the people caught in Israel-Hamas conflict. The Pakistan-born batter had earlier planned to wear special shoes with the message “All Lives Are Equal”, but was stopped by the International Cricket Council (ICC) from doing so. As a result, he decided to wear the same shoes, but covered the message with a tape.

However, Khawaja has made his intentions pretty clear with his latest armband gesture for the people stuck in Israel-Palestine conflict.

Khawaja had earlier vowed that he will fight the ICC for his right to express humanitarian views on the field after it was confirmed that he will not be wearing any messages written on his shoes.

“What I have written on my shoes is not political. I am not taking sides. Human life to me is equal. One Jewish life is equal to one Muslim life is equal to one Hindu life and so on. I am just speaking up for those who do not have a voice,” Khawaja told Channel 7.

“All Lives are Equal. Freedom is a Human right. I’m raising my voice for human rights. For a humanitarian appeal. If you see it any other way. That’s on you…,” Khawaja captioned a video message on Instagram.

Cricket Australia in a statement released on Wednesday prior to skipper Pat Cummins’ pre-game press conference said, “We support the right of our players to express personal opinions. But the ICC has rules in place which prohibit the display of personal messages which we expect the players to uphold.”

Cummins also said that he had spoken to the opening batter and he had revealed that he will not be wearing the statements on his shoes during the game. The skipper also expressed his support for Khawaja’s “all lives are equal” message.

“I spoke to him just quickly and [Khawaja] said he wouldn’t be [wearing the statements],” Cummins said.

(With ANI Inputs)

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