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Australia v Pakistan 2023/24

Pat Cummins comes out in support of Usman Khawaja for ‘All lives are equal’ message

Cummins and Head support Khawaja
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Usman Khawaja has received support from his Australia captain for the “humanitarian messages” he wishes to sport on his shoes during the first Australia vs Pakistan Test starting tomorrow (December 14) in Perth.

During training, Khawaja was spotted wearing shoes with the messages “All lives are equal” and “Freedom is a human right” in an apparent show of solidarity with the victims in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, two days out from the first Test against Pakistan in Perth.

ICC’s guidelines on clothing prohibit any sort of political messaging and Khawaja has been informed that he won’t be allowed to wear those shoes.


Khawaja posted an emotional video on social media where he claimed that those messages are humanitarian and not political. He said that he will challenge the ICC’s decision.

“The ICC have told me that I can’t wear my shoes on field because they believe it’s a political statement under their guidelines. I don’t believe it is so. It’s a humanitarian appeal. I will respect their view and decision, but I will fight it and seek to gain approval. Freedom is a human right,” Khawaja said.

Khawaja has found support from his teammates over the issue. Firstly, Pat Cummins came forward and lent his support to Khawaja during the pre-match press conference.

“Uzzie doesn’t want to make too big of a fuss. On his shoes he had ‘All lives are equal’. I think that’s not very divisive. I don’t think anyone can really have too many complaints about that,” Cummins said.

“I think it’s one of our strongest points in our team is that everyone has their own passionate views and individual thoughts and I chatted to Uzzie briefly about it today. And I don’t think his intention is to make too big of a fuss, but we support him. I think what was on the shoes, ‘All lives are equal’, I support that.”

Federal sports minister Anika Wells had this to say about Khawaja’s messaging during a press conference earlier today (December 13): “Usman Khawaja is a great athlete. Usman Khawaja is a great Australian, and he has every right to speak up on matters that are important to him. I think he has done it in a peaceful and respectful way, and as a way that he as an individual can express an individual opinion that doesn’t compromise the Australian cricket team’s obligations to the ICC.”

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