‘Osama’ remark by Oz of­fends Moeen

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTSPORTSMAX - HT Correspondent

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.”

Moeen Ali.

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