Pat Cummins supports Usman Khwaja’s banned peace symbol

Usman Khawaja black armband gesture
Usman Khawaja (image; CA)

The Australian skipper Pat Cummins has backed Usman Khawaja’s latest gesture to spread peace which he showed during the first test against Pakistan in the home tour.

Pat Cummins supports Usman Khwaja

Pat Cummins has supported Usman Khawaja’s attempt at spreading his message of peace by wearing a black armband. He also had a sporting shoe with a dove symbol which represented peace, but he was stopped wearing them on the Boxing Day Test.

The Aussies won the first test match of the Pakistan tour of Australia in 2023 by 360 runs. During the first Test, Usman Khawaja wore a black armband supporting human rights but was reprimanded for the action.

Khawaja had requested ICC approve him to wear the peace symbol, which he had during practice at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, December 24 for wearing in the second Test against Pakistan.

But ICC has disapproved his request due to the playing conditions. It was against technically breaching a clause in the “Clothing and Equipment Regulations” in the ICC Playing conditions.

While Cummins was asked if he saw any difference between the “dove” symbol with the eagle and the regular wearing Marnus Labuschagne has always worn during international cricket and will do so on Boxing Day.

“Not really, no. I don’t know the ins and outs of the application, but I think it is pretty vanilla, a dove,” said the Australian Test captain.

“We really support Uzzy (Khawaja). I think he’s standing up for what he believes, and I think he’s doing it really respectfully,” Cummins added.

The rejection from the ICC comes in the wake of Khawaja having been banned from wearing the words, “freedom is a human right” and “all lives are equal” on his shoes during the first Test in Perth.

The 37-year-old will be sported a black armband on Day 2 at the Perth Stadium last week. The dove and Olive branches were reportedly his way of making compromises while sticking to his beliefs and his desire to continue spreading his message.

Cummins believed that Khawaja could “hold his head high” for the way he handled the situation.

“All lives are equal, and I don’t think that’s very offensive, and I’d say the same about the dove. That’s Uzzy. He can hold his head high the way he’s gone about it, but there’s rules in place, so I believe the ICC have said they’re not going to approve that. They make up the rules and you’ve got to accept it.”

“I’ve spoken to Uzzy a fair bit. I won’t go into too (much) depth, but it’s really similar to what he’s said publicly. He just sees all lives as equal. He sees the war there as a waste, and there’s a lot of loss that he’s trying to shine a light on that he thinks isn’t necessary. We support him,” said Cummins.

“That’s the environment we try to create. Everyone is at their best when they’re bringing their own self to any group. We’re talking about people here, not just talking about guys who hit a cricket ball or bowl a cricket ball, they’re real people,” said Cummins.

“When you’re happy off the field you tend to play better and play with more freedom and clarity on the field, and I think the best way to get that is to bring your own individual self to the group and we try to encourage that.”

“It’s great that people like Uzzy feel like they can be themselves and stand up for things they’re passionate about within the team,” he concluded.

After Australia leads the series 1-0, they will be facing Pakistan in the second Test on December 26 at Melbourne Cricket Ground.