Usman Khawaja has become a stubborn boy on the Gaza issue. The Australian opener wants to show solidarity on the field to protest against the casualties of innocent people in Gaza. On the other hand, ICC asked to refrain from publishing any kind of political message. Khawaja has even been accused of breaking the rules and has been punished.
However, Khawaja did not give up. Finding new ways to show support for victims of Israel-Hamas violence. At the end of last month, he also said that he will continue to fight against the ICC on the Gaza issue. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese himself praised Khawaja’s brave action against the ICC.
The incident started before the Perth Test. In the first match of the series against Pakistan, Khawaja wanted to play with the phrases ‘All lives are equal’ and ‘Freedom is the right of every human being’ on both shoes. He was also seen in practice wearing these shoes. But the ICC stopped. It is clear that one cannot enter the field with any political message.
Although the two sentences seem simple on the surface, it does not take a political analyst to understand that they are written in protest of Israel’s attack on Gaza. Khawaja could not wear those shoes in the Perth Test in accordance with the rules of the highest governing body of cricket. Khawaja said in a video message that he had no political motive behind it.
But Khawaja protested otherwise, wearing a black brace on his arm. ICC accused him of breaking the law at that time because he did not take permission from ICC. Khawaja once again informed that he had tied a black armband on his arm that day to express his personal grief.
Before the Melbourne Test, Khawaja appeared again with a new plan. He is seen in practice with a black pigeon sticker on the back of his shoes and bat. He wants to play with this sticker in the Melbourne Test as well. But here too, the ICC is sitting in a quagmire. Whatever Khawaja says is a symbol of peace, but to the ICC it seems political.
In a video message at that time, Khawaja said that when he went to the Internet, videos of killing innocent children in Gaza kept coming to him. He imagines his own daughter in place of those children. That is why Khawaja said that he will continue to fight against the ICC in support of Gaza, ignoring all the rules.
On the first day of the Melbourne Test, the Australia opener wrote the names of his two daughters ‘Aila’ and ‘Aisha’ on his shoes. Although it looks like love for girls to the naked eye, one who knows the past few days will at least understand that it is written to express love for the children killed in Gaza and to protest against the killing of such innocent lives. The ICC had nothing to do with Khawaja’s novel protest.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese invited Pakistani and Australian cricketers to Kirribilli House on New Year’s Eve on Monday before the Sydney Test. He praised Gaza’s brave actions there.
Albanis said, ‘I want to congratulate (Khawaza) for being brave for humanity. He has shown courage and the team is behind him, which is great.’