Australia are all set to host Pakistan in the three-match Test series, starting December 14 in Perth. Both teams have some top-quality players and fans are expecting a cracker of a series this time around. However, right before the opening Test, a controversy has erupted with Usman Khawaja being at the center.

Usman Khawaja intends to wear shoes with political message

Known for his vocal stance on the Israel-Hamas War, Khawaja was intended to make a political statement during the first Test against Pakistan by wearing shoes with the words ‘Freedom is a human right’ and ‘All lives are equal’ written on them.

Footage emerged of Khawaja training in Perth, donning shoes bearing hand-written political messages. Confirming his intentions, Khawaja told reporters about his plan to wear the controversial shoes on Day 1 of the Perth Test. However, this move could potentially lead to a ban under ICC clothing regulations.

ICC regulations pose threat of ban

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) strict clothing regulations prohibit the display of personal messages on cricket gear. Khawaja faces the possibility of a ban if he proceeds with wearing the politically charged shoes, with match referees empowered to take action.

“Any clothing or equipment that does not comply with these regulations is strictly prohibited. In particular, no logo shall be permitted to be displayed on cricket clothing or cricket equipment, other than a national logo, a commercial logo, an event logo, a manufacturer’s logo, a player’s bat logo, a charity logo or a non-commercial logo as provided in these regulations. In addition, where any match official becomes aware of any clothing or equipment that does not comply with these regulations, he shall be authorised to prevent the offending person from taking the field of play (or to order them from the field of play, if appropriate) until the non-compliant clothing or equipment is removed or appropriately covered up,” states ICC regulations.

Also READ: AUS vs PAK 2023 – Australia’s best playing XI for the Test series against Pakistan

Pat Cummins steps in to clarify

Ahead of the brewing controversy, Australian skipper Pat Cummins addressed the issue in a pre-match press conference. Cummins confirmed that Khawaja will refrain from wearing shoes displaying human rights messages, expressing support for the opener’s individual views.

Cummins emphasized the strength of the team, highlighting the diversity of opinions and personal views among the players. The captain assured that Khawaja’s decision was not intended to create undue controversy, and the team stands united in supporting individual expressions.

“He had some words on his shoes. I think it’s one of our strongest points of our team that everyone has his own personal views and thoughts. I chatted to Ussie about it briefly today. I don’t think his intention was to make too big of a fuss, but we support him. He said he won’t be (wearing them),” said Cummins in the pre-match presser.

Also READ: AUS vs PAK 2023 – Pakistan’s best playing XI for the Test series against Australia

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By David

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