Usman Khawaja sported a black armband and covered signs supporting the people of Gaza with tape during the first Test against Pakistan on Thursday.
The opening batter had wanted to wear the shoes with the hand-written inscriptions “Freedom is a human right” and “All lives are equal” visible during the match in Perth.
However, Pakistan-born Khawaja, a Muslim, was advised that it violated International Cricket Council rules prohibiting political, religious, or racial themes during matches.
With Cricket Australia stating that the players were expected to follow the regulations, Khawaja covered the slogans with semi-transparent tape, making the phrases visible only in close-up.
According to local media, Khawaja wore the wristband in response to a video he recently uploaded on Instagram from the children’s charity UNICEF from Gaza.
“Do people not care about innocent humans being killed?” Khawaja said in the post.
On October 7, Hamas launched attacks into Israel, killing 1,200 people.
Khawaja vowed to fight the footwear ban on Wednesday and doubled down on his position just before batting in the first Test.
“I just think so much has happened in the past that sets a precedent,” Khawaja explained to Fox Cricket.
“Other guys that have religious things on their equipment, under the ICC guidelines that’s not technically allowed, but the ICC never says anything on that,” he went on to remark.