“We stand behind him”: Pat Cummins expresses support for Usman Khawaja’s silent protest, despite facing criticism from former Test cricketers.

Australian captain Pat Cummins has explained why Usman Khawaja won’t be showcasing a pro-Palestine message on his footwear during the first Test against Pakistan. Cummins confirmed that the ICC had brought attention to rules prohibiting the display of personal messages, prompting Cricket Australia to release a statement denying Khawaja the opportunity to wear the shoes.

“They drew attention to the ICC rules, which I don’t know if Uzzy was across beforehand… Uzzy doesn’t want to create too big of a fuss,” Cummins stated. Despite Khawaja being unable to display messages like ‘freedom is a human right’ and ‘all lives are equal,’ Cummins supported his teammate’s stance on the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. He noted that the message ‘all lives are equal’ on Khawaja’s shoes is not overly divisive, and he doesn’t anticipate significant objections.

Cummins highlighted Khawaja’s passionate views as one of the team’s strengths, emphasizing the diversity of individual thoughts within the squad. “I think it’s one of our strongest points, our team, that everyone has their own passionate views and individual thoughts,” Cummins remarked. He added that after a brief discussion with Khawaja, it was evident that the opener’s intention was not to create a major controversy, and the team fully supports him.

When questioned about how this act compares to the team’s previous gesture of taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, Cummins pointed out that the difference lies in adhering to ICC regulations.

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