Aussie Player Called Me ‘Osama’ During 2015 Ashes: Moeen Ali

Cricket Australia has said that it will meet with the England and Wales Cricket Board to probe the incident.

2 min read
File photo of Moeen Ali.

The on-field behaviour of Australian cricketers have come under the scanner, after English all-rounder Moeen Ali claimed that an unnamed member of the Australian team had racially taunted him in his debut match against them in 2015.

Moeen, in his upcoming autobiography, has claimed that he was racially abused during the first Ashes Test at Cardiff in 2015, where he made 77 in the first innings, before taking five wickets in a 169-run win for England.

It was a great first Ashes Test in terms of my personal performance. However, there was one incident which had distracted me. An Australian player had turned to me on the field and said, ‘Take that, Osama.’ I could not believe what I had heard. I remember going really red. I have never been so angry on a cricket field.
Moeen Ali in his book. 

In his book, Moeen mentioned that he told a couple of English players about the incident and it might have reached the English coach Trevor Bayliss, who may have raised it with Darren Lehmann, the Australians’ coach.

Lehmann asked the player, ‘Did you call Moeen Osama?’ He denied it, saying, ‘No, I said, ‘Take that, you part-timer.’
Moeen Ali in his book. 

After the series got over, Moeen brought the incident up once more, but the player in question denied calling Moeen ‘Osama’, while clarifying later that some of his best friends were Muslim.

Cricket Australia (CA) has taken Moeen’s claim in all seriousness and has said that it will meet with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to probe the alleged incident.

We take this matter very seriously and are following up with the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) as a matter of urgency to seek further clarification around the alleged incident.
CA spokesperson

"Remarks of this nature are unacceptable and have no place in our sport, or in society. We have a clear set of values and behaviour that comes with representing our country,” said a CA spokesperson.

Moeen also had to face racial abuse at the hands of Australian spectators during his last tour to Australia. One of the spectators reportedly asked him when his kebab shop was opening. He may have played down the incidents when they had happened, but in his upcoming book, Moeen is going all guns blazing.

"Guys were sticking their fingers up at me," Moeen wrote in his book. "I expected Australia to be quite rough, but not as bad as this. I hadn't heard such comments for a long time. I got some of this abuse even in the practice games."

In an interview to The Times, who are going to serialise his autobiography, Moeen said that the Australian team is the only team he has played against that he actually dislikes.

Everyone you speak to . . . they are the only team I’ve played against my whole life that I’ve actually disliked. Not because it’s Australia and they are the old enemy but because of the way they carry on and [their] disrespect of people and players.
Moeen Ali in his book. 

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