Usman Khawaja Criticizes ICC’s “Double Standards” in Bat Decorations

Australia opener Usman Khawaja has taken to social media to express his disappointment over the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision to reject his application to display a picture of a dove and an olive branch on his bat and shoes during the Boxing Day Test match against Pakistan.

The ICC had earlier barred Khawaja from wearing shoes with the messages “all lives are equal” and “freedom is a human right” in the first Test against Pakistan and charged him for wearing a black armband during the Perth clash.

Khawaja, in an attempt to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, hoped to use a symbol of peace on his bat and shoes. Despite displaying the picture during training nets, the request was denied for the international game. Frustrated with what he perceives as “double standards” and “inconsistency” in ICC regulations, Khawaja posted a video on Instagram, highlighting the contrasting instances where his teammate Marnus Labuschagne adorned his bat with an eagle and a bible verse, and South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj featured the ‘Om’ symbol on his bat. Khawaja’s post is accompanied by Kanye West’s ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’ in the background.