Azam Khan Penalized for Palestine Flag Incident
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has slapped a hefty fine on batsman Azam Khan for breaching the clothing and equipment regulations of ICC. The incident took place on Sunday (November 26) during the National T20 clash between Karachi Whites and Lahore Blues.
The right-handed batsman was slapped with 50 percent of his match fee after deciding to show his support for Palestine, the war-torn country. Azam Khan decided to show his support by displaying the flag of Palestine on his bat. However, the ICC rules and regulations do not allow the players to sport any logo or message on their clothes or equipment such as bats, or gloves which carry a political, or religious, statement.
“Players and team officials shall not be permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey messages through arm bands or other items affixed to clothing or equipment,” states the rule.
The same rules and regulations are applicable in the domestic matches of all the member boards as well. As a result, the PCB had no option but to punish Azam Khan for breaching the rules. The 25-year-old ended up losing half of his match fees for his actions. He could also face a ban if he repeats his actions.
According to a report in Geo News, he had displayed the Palestinian flag on the bat in the past two matches of the same tournament as well but did not get any warning from the authorities. Something similar had happened with MS Dhoni during the 2019 World Cup when he was asked by the ICC to not display an Army Insignia on his wicketkeeping gloves.
In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, cricketer Azam Khan has been fined 50% of the match fee for using the Palestine flag on his bat. And warning of suspension if he does so again 💔 🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/ppOotQ16KP
— • (@Al__Quraan) November 26, 2023
Azam Khan not the first Pakistan cricketer to show support:
Azam Khan is not the first cricketer from Pakistan in recent times to show his support for Palestine. During the recently concluded World Cup, Mohammad Rizwan had done the same. After scoring a stunning match-winning hundred against Sri Lanka, he had dedicated the knock to the victims of war in Gaza.
Way back in 2014, England star Moeen Ali had also landed in hot water for doing something similar. The allrounder had sported a wristband with the message ‘Save Gaza’ and was reprimanded by ICC. Later, the governing body of the game banned him from wearing the wristband.