England cricketer Moeen Ali: I was called Osama by Oz player
16 September 2018 National
The alleged abuse took place in the first Test of the series in Cardiff, in which Ali made his Ashes debut – scoring 77 runs and taking five wickets as England beat Australia.
The claims appeared in an excerpt of his autobiography published in Saturday’s edition of The Times ahead of its release.
"It was a great first Ashes Test in terms of my personal performance, however there was one incident which had distracted me," he wrote.
"An Australian player 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."
The player involved denied making the slur when confronted about it.
"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," Ali added.
"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 for there is a world of difference between the words ‘Osama’ and ‘part-timer’.
"Although I couldn’t have mistaken ‘part-timer’ for ‘Osama’, obviously I had to take the player’s word for it, though for the rest of the match I was angry."
Ali says that after the series, during which he said the Australia team "refused to talk to or even acknowledge us", he spoke to the player.
Ali said: "He came up to me and said, ‘I know what you thought I said, but I didn’t say that. I’ve got Muslim friends and some of my best friends are Muslims’.
"I did not argue with him. But I was so clear that is what he said. Why should I invent it out of the blue? I’ve got nothing against him.
I have never had any fights with him before. I did not even know the guy. And I thought his denial was a standard response."
A Cricket Australia spokesperson said: "Remarks of this nature are unacceptable and have no place in our sport, or in society.
"We have a clear set of values and behaviours that comes with representing our country.
"We take this matter very seriously, and are following up with the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) as a matter of urgency to seek further clarification around the alleged incident."