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Moeen Ali said yesterday that he is unconcerned about the possibility of coming face to face again with the unnamed Australian player who allegedly called the England all-rounder “Osama” during the 2015 Ashes.
The 31-year-old sent shock waves through cricket when he revealed in his recently published autobiography that he was racially abused on the field during the series opener in Cardiff.
The slur was seemingly a reference to jihadi terrorist Osama Bin Laden, although Moeen asserted his foe claimed to have labelled him “part timer” when later questioned about the incident by then Australia coach Darren Lehmann.
It is unknown whether the player remains part of Australia’s set-up, but Moeen is a key cog in all three formats for England and is likely to play a big role in both next year’s World Cup and Ashes double-header.
The self-effacing Moeen is unfazed about the prospect of bumping into his foe, though, saying: “I don’t know if I’ll be in the squad next year.
“To be honest, I don’t think that far ahead. If ever I come across him or whoever has the same mindset, then so be it. It doesn’t bother me too much.”
Cricket Australia announced the closure of its investigation on Monday as no fresh evidence emerged after liaising with the England and Wales Cricket Board and members of its own team management from three years ago.
Moeen, who contributed a first innings 77 and five wickets to England’s victory in the Welsh capital, remembers telling a “couple” of teammates about what had happened.
That was relayed to England head coach Trevor Bayliss, who raised the issue with Lehmann and led to a rebuttal from the anonymous player.
Moeen divulged in his autobiography the player denied the claim when they spoke at the conclusion of the series.
He added yesterday: “You always get some stuff from the crowd here and there, but that was the one that really not just upset me but you can’t believe someone actually said that.
“We tried to deal with it at the time, it’s been investigated so it’s all done now, it’s all in the past.
“[But] there’s no room for that in life in general, not just in sports.
“There’s ways of trying to put your opponent off and sometimes you don’t have to say anything.
“You can have a passion and things but we play so much cricket. For me it’s more important to be a good person and try to play the cricket the right way.”
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