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Khawaja Opts Against Wearing Gaza-Related Messages on Shoes, Confirms Cummins

Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja has chosen not to wear shoes displaying messages about the situation in Gaza during the first Test against Pakistan, according to captain Pat Cummins.

Khawaja had handwritten slogans like “Freedom is a human right” and “All lives are equal” on his footwear during training. However, Cummins mentioned that he discussed the issue with Khawaja, who decided not to wear the shoes, citing International Cricket Council (ICC) rules that prohibit messages related to politics, religion, or race during matches.

Cummins told reporters on Wednesday: “I spoke to him just quickly and he said he won’t be. Just kind of drew attention to the ICC rules, which I don’t know if Uzzie (Khawaja) was across beforehand. Uzzie doesn’t want to make too big of a fuss.”

Khawaja had shared a video on Instagram expressing concern about the situation in Gaza a few days earlier.

Khawaja, who is Muslim, commented in the post: “Do people not care about innocent humans being killed?”

“Or is it the colour of their skin that makes them less important? Or the religion they practice? “These things should be irrelevant if you truly believe that ‘we are all equal’.”

While Australian Sports Minister Anika Wells believed Khawaja’s actions were peaceful and respectful, Cricket Australia emphasized the need to adhere to ICC rules.

“I think he has done it peacefully and respectfully,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted her as saying.

In 2014, the ICC had banned England all-rounder Moeen Ali from wearing wristbands with messages supporting Gaza saying “Save Gaza” and “Free Palestine” during a Test match.

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