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Usman Khawaja sports shoes with daughters’ names in Boxing Day Test

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MELBOURNE: Australia’s Usman Khawaja wore shoes marked with his daughters’ names as he batted against Pakistan on Tuesday during the Boxing Day Test at MCG, after being banned from wearing references to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. 

Usman Khawaja’s shoes were marked with the names of his daughters Aisha and Ayla taped to the side during the opening day of the second Test in Melbourne.

Khawaja, who was out for 42, had been denied permission by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to have a sticker showing a black dove holding an olive branch on his bat and shoes during the match.

The logo, which he displayed during training on Sunday, also had the words 01:UDHR — a reference to Article One of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — written on it.

Khawaja, a Muslim, was previously stopped from wearing shoes emblazoned with the hand-written slogans “Freedom is a human right” and “All lives are equal” during the first Test in Perth.

The ICC said they flouted its rules on messages that relate to politics, religion or race.

Khawaja posted an Instagram message on Monday seemingly venting his frustration: “Merry Christmas everybody. Sometimes you just gotta laugh. Cya at Boxing Day!”

He marked his post with the hashtags #inconsistent and #doublestandards.


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A post shared by Usman Khawaja (@usman_khawajy)

Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley said Khawaja was “passionate about human rights”.

“We supported Usman with an application (to the ICC) which really felt non-partisan, non-religious, apolitical,” he told broadcaster ABC of Khawaja’s bid to wear the dove symbol.

“Equally, the ICC has its regulations and they are there for good reason so we have to respect those.

“But I think the main way we deal with this (type of issue) is through good communication and working together.”

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Last week, Khawaja spoke about how the Israel-Hamas conflict had affected him.

“When I’m looking at my Instagram and seeing innocent kids, videos of them dying, passing away, that’s what hit me the hardest,” he said.

“I just imagine my young daughter in my arms … I get emotional talking about it again. I don’t have any hidden agendas.”

Usman Khawaja wore a black armband during the Perth Test and was reprimanded by the ICC, but insisted it was for a “personal bereavement” and not politically motivated.

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