Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
England all-rounder Moeen Ali has announced that he is unconcerned about “haters” and won’t let them derail his international career, which has just started to blossom.
Ali, who is a proud Muslim, was recently booed by fans during a one-off Twenty20 International against India in his hometown of Birmingham.
“No matter what you do, no matter how good you try to be, you are always going to get a certain amount of haters, so I just accept that and carry on. It doesn’t really bother me at all,” he said. “I live by a phrase, ‘A lion doesn’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep’, so I just get on with it.
“I have had a lot of Indian friends who have apologised on behalf of other people for the boos, and it’s nice, it’s really nice to hear that. That sort of thing inspires me to keep going and not lose heart.”
While the match was going on, Ali admitted that he was nervous about his father taking action against people who were verbally abusing his son.
“I did hear guys with Brummie accents telling me to play for my own country, so it was a tough one,” he conceded. “They were more Brummie than I was.
“But it was a shame because I only live five minutes down the road from Edgbaston, and my family were there and my friends were there and everyone was getting quite angry.
“I was surprised my dad didn’t do anything, to be honest with you, because he is quite a hot-tempered person as well, so I was very surprised that he just sat there and watched the game.
“Obviously he was getting angry, but he never did anything, but I was looking in the crowd to see if there was a fight anywhere and make sure my dad wasn’t one of them. I thought my dad would definitely lose it at some stage, but thankfully he didn’t.”
Ali also found himself in the spotlight after he was spotted wearing “Save Gaza” and “Free Palestine” wristbands during the recent Test series against India.
However, the 27-year-old insists that his motive for wearing the wristbands were purely humanitarian rather than political.
“I would probably wear anything that was for humanity,” he said. “Those Gaza bands that I wore, people saw it as a political statement, but it was more a humanity thing, it wasn’t at all a political statement.
“I probably wouldn’t wear it on a cricket pitch now as I’m not allowed to, but I would wear anything that was humanitarian.”