Usman Khawaja fights back tears in heartbreaking new admission about daughters

The Aussie cricket star has spoken out after copping an official reprimand from the ICC.

Usman Khawaja with his wife and daughters.
Usman Khawaja has once again spoken about how the situation has affected him in light of having two young daughters. Read more here.

Usman Khawaja was on the verge of tears on Friday as he revealed the black armband he wore in the first cricket Test against Pakistan was for 'personal bereavement' - not a political statement. Khawaja wore the armband after being told by the International Cricket Council that he couldn't wear shoes with phrases 'all lives are equal' and 'freedom is a human right' on them.

However the ICC has since hit Khawaja with a reprimand because the armband wasn't approved. The governing body charged Khawaja on Thursday for breaching the players' code of conduct regarding equipment and clothing regulations. Players must get approval from the ICC before wearing a black armband during games.

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But speaking on Friday, the veteran Aussie opener said he wore the armband for a 'personal bereavement', not because of anything going on in the Middle East. "They (ICC) asked me on day two (of the first Test) what it (black armband) was for and I told them it was for a personal bereavement," he said at the MCG.

"I never ever stated it was for anything else. The shoes were a different matter, I'm happy to say that. The armband makes no sense to me."

The 37-year-old became emotional when speaking about why he has decided to take a stand for human rights this summer. He once again spoke about how the situation in the Middle East makes him think about his own young daughters.

"What I wrote on my shoes, I thought about it for a while," he said. "I made sure I didn't want to segregate different parts of the population, religious beliefs and communities. I wanted it to be really broad because I'm speaking about humanitarian issues.

"The reason I'm doing it is because it hit me hard. When I'm looking at my Instagram and seeing innocent kids, videos of them dying, passing away, that's what hit me the hardest.

"I just imagine my young daughter in my arms ... I get emotional talking about it again. I don't have any hidden agendas. If anything, this brings up more negativity towards me. I don't get anything out of this."

Usman Khawaja, pictured here with daughter Aisha.
Usman Khawaja with daughter Aisha after the Sydney Test in Januray. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Usman Khawaja to continue discussions with ICC

Khawaja said he would appeal the ICC reprimand and admitted he was confused by past incidents of players displaying messages but not being punished. If he is unsuccessful in challenging the charge, he would only receive a reprimand as a first offence and is at no risk of being suspended.

"I respect what the ICC (says) and the rules and regulations they have," Khawaja said. "I will be asking them and contesting they make it fair and equitable for everyone and they have consistency in how they officiate. That consistency hasn't been done yet."

Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley commended Khawaja and labelled the situation 'complex'. "All I can say is that discussions with 'Uzzy' have been really constructive and I think they're really respectful," he said. "We're also very conscious that people want to come and really just enjoy and watch the cricket."

with AAP

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