Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday completely waived off the 50 per cent match fee fine it had imposed on Azam Khan for displaying the Palestine flag on his bat during the ongoing National T20 Championships here.
Azam, the son of former Pakistan captain Moin Khan, was fined 50 per cent of his match fee by the PCB match referee two days back after he refused to remove the Palestine flag sticker from his bat.
The wicketkeeper-batter was found to have violated Article 2.4 of the PCB Code of Conduct For Players and Players Support Personnel for repeated failure to comply with the instruction or directive of an umpire during a Match.
The PCB did not give any reason for completely waiving the fine nor did it explain whether Azam had agreed to take off the sticker from his bat for the remaining matches of the tournament.
“Azam Khan’s 50 per cent fine imposed by match officials has been reviewed and waived off by the Pakistan Cricket Board,” the PCB said in a brief release.
“The Karachi Whites wicketkeeper-batter was fined 50 per cent of his match fee for being found guilty of committing a level-I offence during his side’s National T20 Cup 2023-24 match against Lahore Blues at National Bank Stadium, Karachi.”
As per ICC rules, players and team officials are not permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey personal messages on their equipment unless approved in advance by both the player or team official’s cricket association and PCB Cricket Operations Department.
The fine led to a furore on social media with cricket fans and people criticising the Board for imposing the fine.
The match in which Azam was fined was televised live. He was playing for the Karachi Whites against Lahore Blues.
Azam has not played for the national team since 2021 but is a well-known figure in Pakistan cricket circles due to his big-hitting abilities in the T20 format and is also a regular on the franchise cricket circuits worldwide.
During the recent ODI World Cup in India, Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batter Muhammad Rizwan had also tweeted in support of the Palestine people in Gaza but escaped any fine from the ICC, which said it was his personal opinion.
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