Ali claims ‘Osama’ Test jibe

The Sunday Times - - News - BEN HORNE

CRICKET Aus­tralia has gone straight to the Eng­land Cricket Board over al­le­ga­tions from star Moeen Ali that an Aus­tralian player called him “Osama” dur­ing a Test in 2015.

No of­fi­cial com­plaint was made to match of­fi­cials at the time, but Ali has claimed in his just-re­leased au­to­bi­og­ra­phy that Eng­land coach Trevor Bayliss did go to his coun­ter­part Dar­ren Lehmann about the alleged ex­change.

“An Aus­tralian player had turned to me on the field and said: ‘Take that, Osama,’” he wrote.

“I could not be­lieve what I had heard. I re­mem­ber go­ing re­ally red. I have never been so an­gry on a cricket field.”

“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 for there is a world of dif­fer­ence be­tween the words ‘Osama’ and ‘part­timer’. Although I couldn’t have mis­taken ‘part-timer’ for ‘Osama’, ob­vi­ously I had to take the player’s word for it, though for the rest of the match I was an­gry.”

Ali said the Aus­tralian player sought him out at the end of the se­ries to again deny the claim.

CRICKET Aus­tralia has im­me­di­ately gone to the Eng­land Cricket Board over al­le­ga­tions from Moeen Ali that an Aus­tralian player called him “Osama” dur­ing a Test in 2015.

No of­fi­cial com­plaint was made to of­fi­cials at the time, how­ever, Moeen has claimed in his just-re­leased au­to­bi­og­ra­phy that Eng­land coach Trevor Bayliss did go to his coun­ter­part Dar­ren Lehmann about the alleged ex­change.

“Re­marks of this na­ture are un­ac­cept­able and have no place in our sport, or in so­ci­ety,” a Cricket Aus­tralia spokesman said yes­ter­day.

“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 as a mat­ter of ur­gency to seek fur­ther clar­i­fi­ca­tion around the alleged in­ci­dent.”

Then Aus­tralian cap­tain Michael Clarke said yes­ter­day he was never told about any is­sue and no com­plaint was lodged with the match ref­eree.

Moeen has a de­tailed pas­sage in his book about the alleged com­ment.

“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,” Ali wrote.

“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 for there is a world of dif­fer­ence be­tween the words ‘Osama’ and ‘part­timer’.

“Although I couldn’t have mis­taken ‘part-timer’ for ‘Osama’, ob­vi­ously I had to take the player’s word for it, though for the rest of the match I was an­gry.”

Moeen said the Aus­tralian player sought him out at the end of the se­ries.

“He came up to me and said, ‘I know what you thought I said, but I didn’t say that. I’ve got Mus­lim friends and some of my best friends are Mus­lims’.

“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.

“And I thought his de­nial was a stan­dard re­sponse.”

An Aus­tralian player had turned to me on the field and said: ‘Take that, Osama’

Mooen Ali, left

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