The ICC has pressed charges against Usman Khawaja for his involvement in a Palestinian protest during an Australia Test match.

The International Cricket Council has charged Australia’s batsman Usman Khawaja for wearing a black armband in the first Test against Pakistan. The charge is in violation of ICC regulations that prohibit cricketers from displaying political, religious, or racial messages during international matches. Khawaja claims that his action was a “humanitarian appeal”. He can accept a warning for the charge and continue playing, but he risks further sanctions if he repeats wearing the armband in the Boxing Day Test. The ICC spokesperson confirmed the charge as a breach of clothing and equipment regulations and stated that the sanction for a first offense is a reprimand.

Before the first Test, Khawaja had also worn shoes with messages supporting freedom and equality, but did not wear them during the match. Australia’s captain, Pat Cummins, expressed support for Khawaja’s views but acknowledged his decision not to make a big issue out of it. In response, Khawaja posted a video message on social media reiterating his support for people in Gaza and his intention to fight the ICC’s decision.

Australian sport minister Anika Wells supported Khawaja’s right to express his views. Khawaja covered the writing on his shoes with tape but still wore a black armband during the match. The ICC regulations allow Khawaja to challenge the charge, but it is ultimately up to the ICC to approve or disapprove such messages. A second offense would result in a fine of 25% of Khawaja’s match fee. He has seven days to respond to the charge and is scheduled to speak at the launch of Cricket Australia’s multicultural action plan in Melbourne.

Source: example.com

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