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Australia v Pakistan 2023/24

Perth Stadium evicts spectators for banner matching Usman Khawaja’s message

Spectator evicted from Perth Stadium
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

The Perth Stadium authorities evicted spectators who carried a banner matching the message Usman Khawaja had to remove from his shoes.

Ahead of the first Test match against Pakistan, Usman Khawaja wore shoes that bore the messages “All lives are equal” and “Freedom is a human right”, seemingly in support of the victims for the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.

The ICC asked Khawaja to remove the message, for it was not in accordance with their clothing and equipment rules and regulations. While a cricketer can seek prior approval for messages, the rules state that “approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes.”


Khawaja found support from his captain Pat Cummins. At the match, Khawaja taped the message but took field in a plain black armband, and issued a message, stating his intention to fight the ICC ban.

On the fourth day of the Test match, a spectator at the Perth unfurled a five-metre banner replicating the same message as Khawaja’s shoe, draping it over the railing on the fifth level at the southern end. He also chanted pro-Palestine slogans.

The security removed the banner and evicted the spectators along with some other fans. Later, the stadium authorities issued a statement: “A sign was removed because it contravened Cricket Australia’s terms and conditions of entry. Some patrons were removed because of antisocial behaviour, not because of the sign.”

At the World Cup final in Ahmedabad last month, an Australian citizen in a t-shirt with the words “Stop Palestine” and “Stop bombing Palestine” invaded the pitch, only to be escorted away by the security and subsequently arrested by the police.

Australia declared on 233-5 (Khawaja followed his first-innings 41 with 90), setting Pakistan a target of 450. The visitors could only score 89 as they lost the match by a massive margin of 360 runs.

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