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HomeCricketUsman Khawaja takes off his bat sticker during New Zealand vs Australia,...

Usman Khawaja takes off his bat sticker during New Zealand vs Australia, sparking a last-minute ICC debate

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Glenn Phillips removed Usman Khawaja for 28 during the morning session of Day 3 of the current first Test against New Zealand.

On Day 3 of Australia’s first Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, opening batsman Usman Khawaja was obliged to remove a dove logo from his bat. The event occurred in the 19th over of Australia’s second innings, when Khawaja signalled for a replacement bat after cracking one. Matthew Renshaw, the 12th man, ran over from the dugout with a few alternatives. Khawaja chose on a bat after testing them all. However, he had to delete the banned dove logo.

Khawaja requested to have the dove and olive branch insignia shown on his bat during the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan last year, but the ICC denied his request. The purpose of the 37-year-old wearing the sticker was to draw attention to the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

However, the ICC forbade the seasoned batsman from wearing a unique message on his shoes for the opening Test in Perth.

Although Khawaja did wear a black armband throughout the match, the ICC accused him of violating the rules regarding equipment. A “personal bereavement” was the reason given by the batter, who was born in Pakistan, in a later statement.

Chief Cricket Australia officer Nick Hockley and captain Pat Cummins did back Khawaja, stating that the opener’s attempt to draw attention to the humanitarian situation in Gaza was “not offensive”.

While colleague Marnus Labuschagne wears an eagle on his bat to represent a specific religious message, Khawaja wears a dove logo on his shoe and bat to promote awareness of humanitarian causes. Cummins had previously stated that he saw no difference between the two.

“We genuinely stand behind Uzzy. Prior to the Boxing Day Test, Cummins had stated, “He’s standing up for what he believes in, and I think he’s done it really respectfully.”

Glenn Phillips, meanwhile, dismissed Khawaja for 28 during the third day’s morning session.

After Australia was bowled out for 164 in their second innings, New Zealand was left to chase a 369 win goal.

Australia’s leading scorer, Nathan Lyon, was a nightwatchman with 41, while part-time spinner Phillips recorded career-best statistics with 5-45.

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