Usman Khawaja, the Australian cricketer, made a heartwarming gesture to promote peace during the Boxing Day Test at the MCG. While batting against Pakistan, Khawaja displayed an endearing tribute to his daughters, Aisha and Ayla, on his cricket shoes after being banned from wearing references to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Usman Khawaja scored 42 runs on the opening day against Pakistan but his shoes caught attention more than his batting as they were marked with the names of his beloved daughters on the side.

This move came after the International Cricket Council (ICC) denied his request to display a sticker with a black dove holding an olive branch on his bat and shoes.

Source: AFP

ICC’s stance on Usman Khawaja’s protest

Usman Khawaja’s dove sticker, featuring “01:UDHR,” a reference to Article One of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was intended to promote a message of peace and equality. However, the ICC deemed it against their regulations on messages related to politics, religion, or race.

Khawaja, a passionate advocate for human rights, had previously faced a similar situation during the Perth Test. His attempt to wear shoes with handwritten messages like “Freedom is a human right” and “All lives are equal” was stopped by the ICC.

Despite the setback, Khawaja, through an Instagram post on Christmas, seemed to take the situation in his stride. His post was marked with #inconsistent and #doublestandards, subtly expressing his frustration.


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A post shared by Usman Khawaja (@usman_khawajy)

Cricket Australia’s CEO, Nick Hockley, acknowledged Khawaja’s passion for human rights and highlighted the importance of respecting the ICC regulations while supporting his bid.

Khawaja’s heartfelt actions and commitment to shedding light on human rights issues, despite the restrictions, resonate beyond the cricket field.

Last week, Khawaja spoke about how the Israel-Hamas conflict had affected him.

Usman Khawaja wore a black armband during the Perth Test and was reprimanded by the ICC, but insisted it was for a “personal bereavement” and not politically motivated.

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