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Moeen Ali alleges racial abuse during 2015 Ashes, claims he was called 'Osama' by Australian player

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Moeen Ali had discussed the matter with his coach and players at the time

England all-rounder Moeen Ali has alleged that he was subjected to racial abuse by an Australian player during the 2015 Ashes which was hosted in England. As Moeen describes, the incident happened during the first Test in Cardiff. The English all-rounder has not mentioned the player’s name but believes he saw red after he was subjected to the racial slur. 

“It was a great first Ashes Test in terms of my personal performance. 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,” he wrote in his autobiography.

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Moeen had scored a crucial 77 while batting and also took a fifer in the 1st Test, to help the hosts defeat Australia by 169 runs at Cardiff. 

Moeen said that he informed coach Trevor Bayliss and some of the players after the incident occurred. 

“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.”

When it comes to sledging in the sport, Australia has always been atop. The Aussies have had it out with every team so far, especially on their home grounds. 

Moeen stressed on the fact that the Australian were just ‘rude’ and disrespectful. 

 “The first game I ever played against them, in Sydney, just before the 2015 World Cup, they were not just going hard at you, they were almost abusing you,” he revealed. “That was the first time it hit me. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, but the more I played against them they were just as bad, the Ashes here (in 2015) they were worse actually.

“Not intimidating, just rude. Individually they are fine and the Aussies we’ve had at Worcester have been fantastic, lovely guys.”

The England all-rounder bluntly stated that he ‘disliked’ the Australians. 

“Everyone you speak to… they are the only team I’ve played against my whole life that I’ve actually disliked,” he told The Times. “Not because it’s Australia and they are the old enemy but because of the way they carry on and [their] disrespect of people and players.

“I’m someone who generally feels sorry for people when things go wrong but it’s difficult to feel sorry for them. This ODI series they were very good actually; they’d been…humbled.”

Moeen’s remarks on Australia come after England thrashed Australia in the ODI series, whitewashing the four-match series and by creating records by scoring the most runs in an ODI match. 

Australia at the present moment have been in a rut, ever since the ball-tampering saga back in March this year which saw Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft serving a lengthy ban. The two former captains will make a return before the 2019 World Cup. 

The England all-rounder currently made a return to Test cricket, to help hosts England ‘humble’ India once again, winning the five-match Test rubber 4-1. 

“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.”

The Australian team have been involved in many incidents when it comes to sledging. Even just before the ball-tampering row, Warner and Smith were involved in a few situations during the tour of South Africa. 

The heated Ashes series will now take place next year in August, with the Australians travelling to England after already claiming the bragging rights in 2017/18.


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