‘Osama’ remark by Oz offends Moeen
MUMBAI: England all-rounder Moeen Ali has said he had faced racial abuse in his first Ashes series in 2015 with an unnamed Australia player calling him ‘Osama’, referring to slain terrorist Osama bin Laden, in the first Test at Cardiff. Cricket Australia has announced it will launch an investigation, saying the comment was “unacceptable”.
The claim was made in Moeen’s autobiography which is being serialised by The Times. Moeen, who scored 77 in the first innings before picking up five wickets in that match, wrote: “It was a great first Ashes Test in terms of my personal performance. However, there was one incident which distracted me. An Australian player had turned to me on the field and said, ‘Take that, Osama.’ I could not believe what I heard. I remember going red. I have never been so angry on a cricket field.
Moeen has stated that he found Australian cricketers rude, which was a reason why he disliked playing against them.
“Remarks of this nature are unacceptable and have no place in our sport, or in society,” a CA spokesperson was quoted as saying by Espncricinfo. “We have a clear set of values and behaviours that comes with representing our country. 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.”
Moeen further stated that he had brought up the matter with coach Trevor Bayliss after the hosts were victorious 3-2 in the five match series. Although Bayliss spoke to the then Australia coach Darren Lehmann, the player in question apparently played down the incident. “Lehmann asked the player, ‘Did you call Moeen Osama?’ He denied it, saying, ‘No, I said, ‘Take that, you part-timer.’ I must say I was amused when I heard that, obviously I had to take the player’s word for it, though for the rest of the match I was angry,” Moeen said.
“I did not argue with him. But I was so clear that is what he said. Why should I invent it out of the blue? I’ve got nothing against him. I have never had any fights with him before. I did not even know the guy. I thought his denial was a standard response.”