ICC rejects Usman Khawaja’s appeal against armband sanction


Australian opener Usman Khawaja faced a setback as the International Cricket Council (ICC) rejected his appeal against the sanction imposed for sporting a black armband during the opening Test against Pakistan. The ICC had reprimanded Khawaja for donning the armband in remembrance of children affected by the Israel-Palestine conflict. The 37-year-old, who was vocal about the Palestine issue on social media over time, contested the reprimand, citing it as a mark of personal bereavement.

Additionally, he arrived at a training session on December 13 with messages like “all lives are equal” and “freedom is a human right” on his batting spikes, intending to wear them during the Test. Despite his appeal, the ICC upheld the sanction, signaling a setback for the Australia opener in his efforts to express solidarity through his attire during the game.

“Usman Khawaja’s reprimand for wearing a black armband onto the field during the first Test against Pakistan in Perth will stand after the International Cricket Council rejected his appeal against the sanction…” said a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Khawaja displayed personal message without seeking approval: ICC

ICC rules prohibit cricketers from showcasing messages tied to political, religious, or racial causes during international games. While wearing black armbands to honor former players, family members, or notable individuals is allowed with prior approval, the southpaw failed to seek permission from Cricket Australia or the ICC to wear the armband. ICC stated that the Islamabad-born cricketer didn’t adhere to the necessary protocols outlined for displaying such symbols during matches.

“Usman displayed a personal message (armband) 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 another breach’ and the sanction for a first offense is a reprimand,” the ICC statement said.