Aus­tralia to probe Moeen’s ‘ Osama’ claim

The Observer - Sport - - Sport -

Cricket Aus­tralia is to seek clar­ifi cation from the ECB about an in­ci­dent when Moeen Ali says he was called Osama by an Aus­tralian player dur­ing an Ashes Test in 2015.

The Eng­land all- rounder, who is Mus­lim, made the al­le­ga­tion in his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, which is be­ing se­ri­alised in The Times, say­ing the ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to Osama bin Laden came dur­ing his Ashes de­but in Cardiff.

“An Aus­tralian player turned to me on the fi eld and said: ‘ Take that, Osama’,” he re­called. “I could not be­lieve what I had heard. I re­mem­ber go­ing re­ally red. I have never been so an­gry on a cricket fi eld.

“I told a cou­ple of the guys what the player had said to me and I think [ Eng­land coach] Trevor Bayliss must have raised it with Dar­ren Lehmann, the Aus­tralians’ coach. Lehmann asked the player: ‘ Did you call Moeen Osama?’ He de­nied it, say­ing: ‘ No’. I had to take the player’s word for it, though for the rest of the match I was an­gry.”

Moeen, who scored 92 runs and took fi ve wick­ets as Eng­land won the match on their way to se­ries tri­umph, said he spoke to the Aus­tralian at the end of the se­ries and re­ceived an­other de­nial that the player had used the word Osama.

A Cricket Aus­tralia of­fi­cial told cricket. com. au that the body would seek fur­ther clar­ifi cation from the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board “as a mat­ter of ur­gency”.

“Re­marks of this na­ture are un­ac­cept­able and have no place in our sport, or in so­ci­ety,” the offi cial said. “We have a clear set of values and be­hav­iours that comes with rep­re­sent­ing our coun­try. We take this mat­ter very se­ri­ously.”

Moeen, who en­dured a mis­er­able 2017- 18 Ashes se­ries, said in an­other ex­tract from the book that he had no sym­pa­thy for the three Aus­tralian crick­eters banned this year and found the whole team rude .

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