Former West Indies cricketer Michael Holding has slammed the International Cricket Council(ICC) for its stance on the Usman Khawaja controversy. Khawaja had been charged with breaching the ICC regulations after he wore a black armband during Australia’s first Test against Pakistan in Perth recently. Khawaja later decided to challenge ICC’s reprimand, claiming that he wore the armband for a “personal bereavement”.
Earlier, Khawaja also wanted to wear shoes with “all lives are equal”, but had not been given approval by the ICC to do so. Khawaja, though, did train at the MCG wearing shoes with the said text on Sunday ahead of the Boxing Day Test.
“The ICC regulations say re messaging ‘approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes’. So how the f*** people were allowed to take the knee for BLM and stumps were covered with LGBTQ colours?” Holding told the Weekend Australian.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Khawaja had clarified the usage of the logo with Cricket Australia as well as the Australian Cricketers’ Association, and there was no objection from either of them.
However, on Sunday morning, Khawaja was informed that his proposal to do so was rejected. On Sunday, Khawaja was again stopped from conveying a humanitarian message: A black dove which was holding an olive branch on Khawaja’s bat and shows, in a bid to support the Palestenians affected by the Gaza attacks.
“I have been following the Khawaja fiasco and I cannot say I’m surprised by the ICC’s stance,” he added.
Holding accused the ICC of showing hypocrisy and “lack of moral standing”. “If it had been most other organisations that showed some semblance of consistency with their attitude and behaviour on issues I could claim surprise, but not them. Once again, they show their hypocrisy and lack of moral standing as an organisation,” added the 69-year-old.