Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England all-rounder Moeen Ali has revealed that an Australian player, who he refused to name, racially abused him during the 2015 Ashes series.
In his autobiography, which is being serialised in The Times ahead of the book’s launch later this month, Moeen wrote that during the first Test in Cardiff, the Australian player in question called him “Osama”.
In that Test in July 2015, Moeen scored 77 in the first innings and took a total of five wickets as England won the match by 169 runs.
“It was a great first Ashes Test in terms of my personal performance,” Moeen wrote as quoted by ESPNcricinfo. “However there was one incident which had distracted me. 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.
“I told a couple of the guys what the player had said to me and I think Trevor Bayliss [the England coach] 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 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 brought up the issue once again after England won the series 3-2, but the player in question denied calling him “Osama” and added that some of his best friends were Muslim.
The Birmingham native, whose father was Pakistani and mother English, also recalled the racial abuse he endured at the hands of the Australian fans when England travelled to Australia for the Ashes in 2017/18. It is understood that one spectator asked him when his kebab shop would be opening.
While Moeen kept his cool when the racial abuse occurred, he did not hold back in his autobiography.
“Guys were sticking their fingers up at me,” he wrote. “I expected Australia to be quite rough, but not as bad as this. I hadn’t heard such comments for a long time. I got some of this abuse even in the practice games.”