England all-rounder Moeen Ali has criticised the “rude” approach of several Australia teams he has played against while claiming that he suffered a racial taunt from an unnamed Australian player during the 2015 Ashes.
The off-spinner wrote about the incident in his autobiography which is set to be published later this month, as per a report in Telegraph.
He claims that the incident took place during the first Test at Cardiff in 2015, in which he scored 77 runs in the first innings and took 5 wickets to help England to a 169-run win.
“It was a great first Ashes Test in terms of my personal performance,” he recalls in the book, “however there was one incident which had distracted me. An Australian player had turned to me on the field and said, ‘Take that, Osama’ [a reference to Islamic terrorist Osama Bin Laden]. I could not believe what I had heard. I remember going really red. I have never been so angry on a cricket field.”
The 31-year-old claims he discussed the incident with several of his team-mates and believed that England coach Trevor Bayliss raised it with then Australian coach Darren Lehmann.”The player denied making the remark, claiming he had said: “Take that, you part-timer.” The all-rounder said he was amused. “I had to take the player’s word for it, though for the rest of the match I was angry.”
Ali also spoke to the player at the end of the series, which England won 3-2, and his opponent denied saying “Osama” and claimed that some of his best friends were Muslim.
The left-handed batsman claims he suffered further racial abuse last winter during the second Ashes Test in Adelaide. When he was fielding, one of the spectators shouted: ‘when is your kebab shop opening?’ At the time, Ali said he dismissed the jeering as “nothing much”.
Ali further said that the Australian players were 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. 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,” he wrote.
(With inputs from agencies)