ICC charges Usman Khawaja for wearing black armband in Perth Test


Australian opener Usman Khawaja has been found breaching ICC (International Cricket Council) regulations for wearing black armbands during the first Test between Australia and Pakistan in Perth without prior approval. Notably, the 37-year-old was earlier supposed to wear shoes with “all lives are equal” and “freedom is a human right” written on them to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

However, he gave up on his decision following interventions from Cricket Australia (CA) as ICC doesn’t allow players to sport a political message on their equipment. Instead, the Australian batter decided to wear black armbands in support of the cause but even that hasn’t gone down well with the ICC.

Notably, black armbands are commonplace on the field of cricket and are often worn to pay tribute to the deaths of former players, family members, or other significant individuals. However, players need prior permission from the board and ICC before wearing them which Khawaja failed to get. Hence, he’s been charged for breaching Clause F of Clothing and Equipment Regulations with the sanction yet to be confirmed.

“Usman Khawaja has been charged for breaching Clause F of the Clothing and Equipment Regulations. Usman displayed a personal message (arm band) during the first Test Match against Pakistan without seeking the prior approval of Cricket Australia and the ICC to display it, as required in the regulations for personal messages. This is a breach under the category of an ‘other breach’ and the sanction for a first offence is a reprimand,” an ICC Spokesperson was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

ICC’s Equipment Regulations

The ICC’s clothing and equipment regulations state: “Players and team officials shall not be permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey personal messages on their clothing, equipment or otherwise, irrespective of whether such messages are affixed to clothing, equipment or otherwise and whether such messages are displayed or conveyed through the use of the specific clothing or other items (eg. an arm band) or by the use of words, symbol, graphic message, images or otherwise (‘personal messages’), unless approved in advance by both the player or team official’s board and the ICC Cricket Operations Department. Approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes.”

Notably, Khawaja had also posted a video message on his social media handles reacting to ICC’s intervention earlier and stated that he will continue to fight for his cause.