The black dove emblem on Khawaja’s bat and the corresponding placement on his right shoe featured a reference to Article One of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association had approved Khawaja’s use of the black dove logo with an olive branch for the Test beginning on December 26. However, the ICC rejected it, citing potential violation of clause F in the “Clothing and Equipment Regulations” within its Playing Conditions.
But on Monday, Khawaja uploaded a reel on Instagram with Kanye West’s ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’ song running in the background as he pointed out “double standards” from the ICC. “Merry Christmas everybody. Sometimes you just gotta laugh. Cya on Boxing Day! #inconsistent #doublestandards,” he wrote, with a facepalm emoji, in the caption.
In the reel, Khawaja had included images of West Indies wicketkeeper-batter Nicholas Pooran putting a cross and the word “believe” on his bat, as well as of his teammate, top-order batter Marnus Labuschagne sporting an eagle logo and bible verse on his bat. It was followed by South Africa’s left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj sporting an ‘om’ logo on the front of his bat, just below the bat manufacturer sticker.
Khawaja had previously been stopped from wearing the slogans “All lives are equal” and “Freedom is a human right” on his shoes during Australia’s first Test against Pakistan at Perth, in an attempt to raise awareness about the Gaza humanitarian crisis. He did wear a black armband during the match but was reprimanded by the ICC for doing so.
On Monday, Australia Test captain Pat Cummins backed opener Usman Khawaja’s stance over sporting the dove logo. “Not really, no – I don’t know the ins and outs of the application, but I think it is pretty vanilla, a dove. We really support Uzzy, I think he’s standing up for what he believes, and I think he’s doing it really respectfully.”
“All lives are equal, and I don’t think that’s very offensive, and I’d say the same about the dove. That’s Uzzy. He can hold his head high the way he’s gone about it, but there are rules in place, so I believe the ICC have said they’re not going to approve that. They make up the rules and you’ve got to accept it.”
“I’ve spoken to Uzzy a fair bit. I won’t go into too (much into its) depth, but it’s really similar to what he’s said publicly. He just sees all lives as equal. He sees the war there as a waste, and there’s a lot of loss that he’s trying to shine a light on that he thinks isn’t necessary. We support him,” he said.
(With IANS Inputs)