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Usman Khawaja forced to remove black dove sticker from bat during first Test against New Zealand | Cricket News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The controversy surrounding the black dove sticker resurfaced on Day 3 of the first Test between Australia and New Zealand at Wellington’s Basin Reserve, as Australian opener Usman Khawaja was compelled to remove the emblem from his bat during the match.
During Australia’s second innings on Saturday morning, Khawaja encountered an unfortunate incident when his bat fractured, necessitating the removal of the black dove sticker from the replacement bat.
SCORECARD: NZ vs AUS, 1st Test
The thirty-six-year-old had to comply with the regulations and take off the decal, featuring a dove clutching an olive branch, before continuing his batting.
The controversy stemmed from the International Cricket Council‘s (ICC) rejection of Khawaja’s request to wear the dove sticker during the Test series against Pakistan, citing it as a “political protest.”
Despite this ruling, Khawaja persisted in wearing the emblem during his net sessions. However, Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley and Test captain Pat Cummins reiterated their unwavering support for Khawaja, acknowledging his right to express himself. Khawaja’s birthplace in Islamabad adds a personal dimension to the issue.
The veteran player had previously faced criticism from the ICC for wearing a black armband during the series opener against Pakistan, further fueling the debate surrounding players’ expressions of solidarity or protest during matches.
Amid the distraction, Khawaja’s innings was short-lived as he was dismissed for 28, falling victim to a brilliant stumping by Tom Blundell off the bowling of Glenn Phillips.
(With inputs from IANS)



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