West Indies legend Michael Holding slams ICC over their stance on Usman Khawaja


The contentious clash between the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Australia cricketer Usman Khawaja has escalated, drawing attention to issues beyond the cricket pitch. The left-handed batter expressed his desire to convey a powerful message by wearing shoes adorned with “All lives are equal” and “Freedom is a human right” during the first Test of the Pakistan tour of Australia. He intended to highlight the humanitarian crisis resulting from Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

However, the ICC intervened, citing a breach of rules and disallowing the expression. Even when Khawaja opted for a black armband instead, a symbol of mourning and solidarity, he faced reprimand from the ICC for not seeking prior permission.

In response to these developments, former West Indies cricketer Michael Holding has criticised the supreme cricketing body for its stance. The incident sparked a debate within the cricketing community and thrust cricket into the broader social and humanitarian discourse realm.

”How the f*** people were allowed to take the knee for BLM and LGBTQ?”: Michael Holding

Holding questioned the ICC’s stance on messaging, highlighting the contradiction in allowing gestures like taking a knee for BLM and displaying LGBTQ colours on stumps despite regulations against messages related to political, religious or racial activities.

“The ICC regulations say re messaging’ approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes’. So how the f*** people were allowed to take the knee for BLM (Black lives matter) and stumps were covered with LGBTQ colours?” Holding said, as quoted by The Australian.

Also READ: Australian star Mitchell Starc expresses surprise over Pakistan’s pace drop in Perth Test

Holding’s harsh remarks on ICC

Holding further expressed his lack of surprise at the ICC’s handling of the Khawaja fiasco, criticizing the organisation for its perceived inconsistency, hypocrisy and lack of moral standing on such issues.

“I have been following the Khawaja fiasco, and I cannot say I’m surprised by the ICC’s stance. If it had been most other organisations that showed some semblance of consistency with their attitude and behaviour on issues, I could claim surprise, but not them. Once again, they show their hypocrisy and lack of moral standing as an organization,” the 69-year-old added.

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