English cricketer and all-rounder Moeen Ali recently claimed that he was referred to as Osama back in 2015 by a fellow cricketer from the Australian team. Since this statement was released recently in Ali’s new autobiography, the Australian cricket board has launched a thorough investigation on the matter calling it unacceptable.
Ali claims that this slur was said to him during his Ashes debut. He says that despite making 77 runs and taking 5 wickets that day he was left rather perturbed by what was said to him. Ali said that the player turned to him and remarked:
‘Take that, Osama‘.
Soon after an Australian spokesperson took to the internet and expressed his distaste towards this action. He claimed that the world of cricket must and should remain clear of such spite and hatred and therefore the matter would be looked into further.
Ali goes on to say that despite addressing the player there and then accompanied by a few other players, the accusations were denied. Instead, the player claimed he had called him a “part-timer” and not Osama. Ali was later approached by the player who claimed that the statement Moeen had heard was incorrect and that he himself has an extensive circle of Muslim friends.
He said; “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.”
Moeen Ali has also spoken about the disrespect shown by the Australian team on various occasions and how he has no particular liking for them as a result. An Australian bowler and coach, Jason Gillespie, also released a statement about Ali’s book stating calling his accusations disappointing and commending the Australian board for taking the investigation up.
Moeen is in line to become the captain for the Twenty20 at Edgbaston while the Australian team is being reviewed by their Captain. This review is the result of a recent scandal that the team was caught in South Africa a few months ago.
Ali said: “I’m someone who generally feels sorry for people when things go wrong but it’s difficult to feel sorry for them.”
It is tragic to see that even the world of sport is contaminated with the same spite that we often witness in our media and politics. A sport that requires physical excellence on a field should not be debilitated through remarks that are overtly offensive and distasteful. Cricket has always been known to be a sport that brings people together with a sole purpose to support their team. It is a sport that requires hard work and dedication. Someone’s worth should not be questioned merely because their religious belief differs. It puts into question the intolerance the world already possesses on grand scales that has led to an increased disparity of peace across countries.