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Khawaja turns his banned boots into protest T-shirts

Usman Khawaja has turned his boot protest into a T-shirt spin-off.

Usman Khawaja has turned his boot protest into a T-shirt spin-off. Photos: Getty/TND

Australia batsman Usman Khawaja has opened up a new angle in his ongoing campaign to support those affected by the conflict in Palestine.

It follows controversy after Khawaja was seen at training last month with boots emblazoned with the slogans “All lives are equal” and “Freedom is a human right”.

His plans to wear the boots during the Test against Pakistan in Perth fell through after it was deemed he was in breach of International Cricket Council rules.

Khawaja later took aim at the ICC”s “double standards”, but said he would abide by the rules.

“The ICC have told me I can’t wear my shoes on the field because they feel it’s a political statement under their guidelines. I don’t believe it’s so. It’s a humanitarian appeal,” the 37-year-old said on social media at the time.

“I will respect their view and decision. But I will fight it and seek to gain approval.”

He was later charged by the ICC after wearing a black armband during the Test. Khawaja said later the armband was for a personal bereavement.

When the opening batsman returned to duty in the Big Bash League, he strode to the crease with a bat etched with a dove of peace symbol.

Late on Tuesday, he unveiled his latest move – T-shirts emblazoned with an image of the shoes he was banned from wearing.

“I’ve teamed up with [sporting merchandiser] Electric Wicky to bring you the Uzzy ‘Freedom and Equality’ T-shirts,” he wrote on Instagram.

It was accompanied by a shot of the Pakistan-born batsman modelling one of his new shirts.

“All profits will be donated to the ‘Unicef Children of Gaza’ appeal. For those who can, please purchase to help support those who are struggling and spread the word! Link in my Bio!” he said.

During December, there was support for Khawaja’s protest from fellow players, past and present. Cricket Australia also offered qualified support after he was banned from wearing the offending shoes.

“We support the right of our players to express personal opinions,” it said in a statement.

“But the ICC has rules in place which prohibit the display of personal messages, which we expect the players to uphold.”

Khawaja is expected to take the field later on Wednesday when Australia’s first Test against the West Indies begins in Adelaide.

-with AAP

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