In a recent decision, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has waived the fine imposed on wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan for displaying the Palestine flag on his bat during a National T20 Cup domestic tournament match in Karachi. However, the specific reason for lifting the 50% match fee fine remains unclear.
Azam Khan was initially fined for breaching clothing and equipment regulations on November 26, violating Article 2.4 of the PCB code of conduct for players and players’ support personnel. The violation stemmed from his repeated non-compliance with an umpire’s instructions during the match.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) regulation for clothing and equipment prohibits players from displaying messages that carry political, religious, or racial activities or causes.
Interestingly, no action was taken against Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan for expressing support for Palestinians on social media. During the recently concluded ICC ODI World Cup 2023, Rizwan dedicated his century to the Palestinians following his outstanding performance in the record run chase against Sri Lanka. Rizwan’s gesture was deemed a personal opinion, falling outside the purview of the PCB’s code of conduct.
Following backlash, PCB overturns fine on Azam Khan for displaying Palestinian flag on bathttps://t.co/wlQg5hsvzU
— The Asian News Hub (@AsianNewsHub) November 28, 2023
Azam Khan, known for his powerful hitting in the T20 format, has not played for the national team since 2021. However, his ability to effortlessly hit big sixes has kept him in high demand in various franchise cricket leagues globally.
The ICC’s strict prohibition against displaying politically, religiously, or racially charged messages on clothing and equipment has sparked a social media debate. While some endorse Azam’s gesture, others advocate for the separation of cricket and politics.
Currently, the Pakistan cricket team is preparing for a three-match Test series against Australia. The PCB has organized a training camp in Rawalpindi, and the series begins with a four-day warm-up match against the Prime Minister’s XI on December 6 at Manuka Oval, Canberra. The first Test will follow on December 16 at Perth Stadium, Perth.