Southampton: England cricketer Moeen Ali risked disciplinary action after the International Cricket Council (ICC) said they were “investigating” his decision to wear wristbands in support of Gaza during the third Test match against India on Monday.
Ali wore wristbands that read “Save Gaza” and “Free Palestine”, while batting during England’s first innings at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. An ICC spokesman told AFP: “We’re investigating and will report in due course.”
Meanwhile an England and Wales Cricket Board spokesman told reporters at Southampton that, “as far as we are concerned, he has not committed any offence,” adding it was up to the ICC to decide what action, if any, Ali should face. The ICC regulations prohibit players from displaying political, religious or racial statements on their clothing and equipment while taking part in international matches.
The 27-year-old Ali, a practising Muslim of Pakistani descent, was photographed earlier this week helping raise funds for Gaza relief efforts in his home city of Birmingham in central England. The Worcestershire all-rounder’s wristbands were only on public display for 42 minutes while he made 12 runs off 28 balls before he was caught off India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
On Friday, Malaysian cyclist Azizulhasni Awang was warned he risked being thrown out of the Commonwealth Games if he repeated wearing gloves bearing the message “Save Gaza”. Awang could have been ejected from the 2014 Glasgow Games after wearing the gloves in competition on Thursday.
Instead the 26-year-old was given a reprimand and warned not to wear them again. The Commonwealth Games Federation seeks to avoid its competitions being used for political means. Though Awang insisted his message was “humanitarian” rather than politically-charged, he issued an apology.