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Usman Khawaja forced to act as banned dove logo drama reignites during 1st New Zealand Test months after ICC row

Last December, ICC rejected his application to display the dove symbol on his bat in a Test against Pakistan to raise awareness for the crisis in Gaza.

Australia opener Usman Khawaja was forced to remove the dove logo from his bat early on Day 3 of the ongoing first Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. It happened in the opening session of the day, when Khawaja had cracked his bat shortly after Australia resumed their second innings on 13 for two.

Usman Khawaja was forced to remove dove logo from his bat

It happened in the 19th over of Australia’s second innings when the 37-year-old opener signalled for a replacement of his bat. Substitute Matthew Renshaw sprinted into the ground with a couple of options. Khawaja tested out a few bats before settling on one but was quickly needed to remove the human rights sticker of a dove holding an olive branch from it.

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Earlier in December, during Australia’s home Test series against Pakistan, the International Cricket Council (ICC) rejected his application to display the dove symbol on his bat in the Boxing Day Test to raise awareness for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. This was preceded by the apex body charging the Aussie for donning a black armband during the series opener for breaching equipment regulations, although Khawaja had later clarified that it was due to a “personal bereavement”.

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Khawaja later accused ICC of double standards through a social-media post over rejecting his request for dove logo. “Merry Christmas everybody. Sometimes you just gotta laugh. CYA at Boxing Day!” he wrote, along with the hashtags “inconsistent” and “double standards”.

Despite the row with ICC, Khawaja found support from Cricket Australia chief executive, Nick Hockley, and the Australian captain, Pat Cummins.

“The symbol of the dove is an universally recognised symbol of peace,” Hockley explained in December. “That being said, the ICC have got their rules and think they explained their rationale really clearly and we respect that. What we’ve been really clear about is that we support Uzzie and all our players really to share what the what they believe over their own channels.”

Khawaja was dismissed in the morning session of Day 3 for 28 when he had charged out of the crease against Glenn Phillips and was stumped by wicketkeeper Tom Blundell. The part-time off-spinner later completed his maiden five-wicket haul as Australia were folded for 164 runs in the second innings, thus setting New Zealand a massive target of 369.


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