Following backlash, PCB overturns fine on Azam Khan for displaying Palestinian flag on bat

Following backlash, PCB overturns fine on Azam Khan for displaying Palestinian flag on bat

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday overturned a fine imposed on wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan for displaying a Palestinian flag on his bat during a recent domestic T20 match.

The imposition of the fine had sparked social media criticism, with the PCB facing backlash for what was perceived as an unjust action against the cricketer.

Khan — who represented Karachi Whites during the match — 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 on Sunday.

Khan adorned his bat with a Palestinian flag during the match, contravening the rules that prohibit the endorsement of any such cause unless approved beforehand.

However, the PCB in a statement today said: “Azam Khan’s 50pc fine imposed by match officials has been reviewed and waived off by the PCB.”

The cricketer 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 the match, the board said in the statement.

It also added that “players and team officials are not permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey personal messages on their equipment unless approved in advance by both player or team official’s cricket association and PCB Cricket Operations Department.”

Senior journalist Hamid Mir had on Sunday sought clarity from the PCB after the cricketer was fined 50pc of his match for expressing solidarity with Palestine in the match.

“Will the PCB tell us when it became a crime to put the flag of Palestine on the cricket bat in Pakistan? Those who fined Azam Khan for placing the Palestinian flag on the bat should be dismissed from the PCB and set an example,” Mir had said.