NZ vs AUS: Here’s why dove sticker was taken off Usman Khawaja’s bat on Day 3 of the Wellington Test

On Day 3 of the 1st Test against New Zealand in Wellington, Australian opener Usman Khawaja found himself embroiled in a controversy over a banned dove logo on his bat.

In the morning session, Khawaja encountered an equipment challenge when he cracked his bat. This led to the entry of Matt Renshaw with a replacement bat on the field. However, before Khawaja could resume batting, a controversy unfolded. The left-handed batter was required to remove a controversial human rights sticker from the bat before continuing his innings.

In December 2023, Khawaja took the decision to use a logo and sticker on his bat with the intention of raising awareness for the war in Gaza. Despite the ICC categorizing it as a ‘political protest’ and refusing permission for its use in international cricket, Khawaja continued to use it during net sessions. Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley and Test captain Pat Cummins have expressed unwavering support for the Islamabad-born player during that time.

Also READ: Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese clears his stand on Usman Khawaja’s stand-off with ICC

ICC’s stance and previous incidents

During the series-opener against Pakistan, Khawaja wore a black armband as a form of protest after the ICC prohibited him from wearing shoes displaying the message “all lives are equal’ and “freedom is a human right,”. Nevertheless, the ICC censured him again, leading to multiple meetings with officials from both the ICC and Cricket Australia. Unfortunately, no solutions were reached in Khawaja’s favor, compelling him to comply with the directives.

Performance in the Wellington Test

Meanwhile in the ongoing Test match, Khawaja contributed 28 runs in Australia’s second innings during the Wellington Test. Nonetheless, the team’s innings concluded at 164, setting New Zealand a challenging target of 369. As the match heads into a decisive phase, New Zealand ended third day at 111/3, with Rachin Ravindra (56*) and Daryl Mitchell (12*) at the crease, requiring 258 more runs for victory, with seven wickets in hand.

Also READ: Twitter reactions: Australia’s 2nd innings collapse opens the door for New Zealand to mount a comeback on Day 3 of the Wellington Test

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