England all-rounder Moeen Ali has released a book. Picture:  Paul Kane/Getty Images
England all-rounder Moeen Ali has released a book. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Moeen claims Aussie player called him ‘Osama’

ENGLAND all-rounder Moeen Ali claims he was called "Osama" by an Australia player during the 2015 Ashes.

Moeen played a key role in England's 169-run win in the first Test at Cardiff, scoring a half-century (77) and taking five wickets for the match in his first Ashes encounter.

However, he says the memory was soured by an unnamed Australian player.

"An Australian player had turned to me on the field and said, 'Take that, Osama,'" Moeen wrote in his new autobiography Moeen, from which the Times are  running excerpts.

"I could not believe what I had heard. I remember going really red. I have never been so angry on a cricket field."

Moeen Ali starred on his Ashes debut but says the experience was soured by being called
Moeen Ali starred on his Ashes debut but says the experience was soured by being called "Osama".

According to Moeen, England coach Trevor Bayliss took the issue to his counterpart Darren Lehmann, who in turn asked the Australia player for his version of events.

"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."

Moeen says the two teams barley spoke off the field until the end of the series - he believes the Australians were instructed not to interact with England's players - at which point the unnamed Australian sought him out.

"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."

Earlier this week, Moeen told the Times Australia's side under former captains Steve Smith and Michael Clarke were rude and lacked respect.

"Everyone you speak to...they are the only team I've played against my whole life that I've actually disliked," he said. "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."

Moeen Ali: “it’s difficult to feel sorry for them (Australia’s suspended players).”
Moeen Ali: “it’s difficult to feel sorry for them (Australia’s suspended players).”

He also he feels no sympathy for banned trio David Warner, Smith and Cameron Bancroft.

"I'm someone who generally feels sorry for people when things go wrong but it's difficult to feel sorry for them," he said.

"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."

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