KARACHI: Wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan was fined 50% of his match fees for displaying Palestine’s flag on his bat during the National T20 tournament in Karachi on Sunday.
The batter violated clothing and equipment regulations (displaying an unapproved logo or political messaging.)
The flamboyant batter is playing for Karachi Whites and scored 35 against Lahore Blues on Sunday before being summoned by the match referee Mohammad Javed.
A source privy to the matter confirmed to Geo News that the young batter was fined 50% of his match fees. The batter was earlier warned by the referee not to display the unapproved logo (Palestine's flag) on his bat as it would be a breach of the ICC code of conduct, of which the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is also a signatory.
Azam had, according to sources, informed the referee that all of his bats have the same stickers.
The ICC regulation for clothing and equipment states that players shall not be allowed to display messages that carry political, religious, or racial activities or causes.
An official of the PCB confirmed to Geo News that Azam was charged with violating clothing and equipment regulations.
The sources also confirmed that Azam had the same sticker on his bat during two previous games of the National T20 Cup. However, no one had warned him before today's game.
In a similar move in October this year, Pakistan's cricket team during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup showed their firm support and shared their prayers for all Palestinians suffering at the hands of Israel.
Indian fans and cricket experts had raised questions on the players' constant support for Palestine asking ICC — the governing body of the game — whether such moves were allowed in the tournament.
According to sources, the PCB had rejected the objections over players' conduct saying: "The team's expression of solidarity was a personal decision."
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