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Usman Khawaja wears black armband for Palestine during Perth Test

Australian opener Usman Khawaja wore a black armband during the first Test against Pakistan in Perth on Thursday.

Khawaja wore the armband after his plan to wear shoes with human rights messages was thwarted by Cricket Australia and the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Khawaja intended to wear shoes with the slogans “Freedom is a human right” and “All lives are equal.” The ICC could have imposed sanctions, including a field ban, reprimand, or a 75% match-fee fine for violating the regulations that prohibit players from displaying unauthorized messages.

While talking to Channel 7, Khawaja expressed his intention to challenge the ICC’s decision. He cited past precedents where similar actions were not penalized, emphasizing his commitment to the cause.

“I will try to (challenge the ICC) as soon as possible, whenever it is possible,” Khawaja said.

“There already has been a precedent set in the past that ICC have allowed. A precedent set where players have done stuff in the past where the ICC hasn’t done anything. I find it a bit unfair that they have come down on me at this point in time where there definitely has been precedents in the past of similar things.” he further added.

While acknowledging the need to focus on the game, Khawaja expressed his dissatisfaction with the ICC’s stance, suggesting that he might face continued fines.

“I am a grown man I can do anything I want, but I think the ICC will keep coming down and giving me fines and at some point it will detract from the game,” Khawaja said.

Furthermore, Khawaja defended his choice of messages, stating that he did not perceive them as political or controversial. He expressed disappointment at the controversy surrounding his stance, asserting his right to stand up for his beliefs, even if they are not universally accepted.

“I stand by what I said, I will stand by that, I think forever. For me, I need to get out there and concentrate on what I am doing but it is right at the forefront of my mind,” he concluded.