File photo of Michael Holding (left) and Usman Khawaja.© AFP

After Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja was charged with breaching International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations for wearing a black armband during the first Test match against Pakistan in Perth, West indies bowling great Michael Holding slammed the apex cricket governing body. Holding blasted ICC by terming its actions on the Khawaja fiasco as “hypocrisy and lack of moral standing”. Khawaja earlier wanted to wear shoes with “all lives are equal” and “freedom is a human right” written on them as a show of solidarity for people suffering due to the Israel-Hamas conflict but the request was turned down by the ICC.

“I have been following the Khawaja fiasco and I cannot say I’m surprised by the ICC’s stance,” Holding told The Weekend Australian.

“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 organisation,” he added.

While speaking his mind, Holding cited the example of Black Lives Matter movement that got support from ICC as well in the past.

“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 and stumps were covered with LGBTQ colours?” he questioned.

As of latest, Khawaja has reportedly been denied permission to place a peace symbol on his bat and shoes for the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan.

A sticker showing a black dove and the words 01:UDHR — a reference to Article One of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — was on his bat and shoes during training in Melbourne on Sunday.

The star batter had multiple meetings with Cricket Australia over recent days to find a message that would be appropriate for the second Test this week, local media said.

But his latest humanitarian gesture has been turned down by the International Cricket Council, The Australian and Melbourne Age newspapers reported.

(With AFP Inputs)

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