LONDON: Moeen Ali persuaded angry team-mates not to lodge an official complaint against the Australia player who allegedly called him “Osama” during the 2015 Ashes.
England coach Trevor Bayliss has revealed that Moeen, who has made the comments public in his upcoming autobiography, did not want the matter escalated following the incident during the Cardiff Test at the beginning of the series. Following the publication of the comments, Cricket Australia has said they will investigate the matter.
At the time, however, Bayliss spoke to his counterpart Darren Lehmann who approached the player in question and received a denial with the player saying he had said “part-timer” rather than “Osama”. If the matter had been made official the ICC would have launched an investigation – something that could still happen despite the incident being three years ago.
“No, he didn’t want it to go any further,” Bayliss told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph. “He’s a very softly spoken sort of a bloke. He doesn’t want to create too many problems for anyone. There were other players on the team who wanted to take it further but he talked them into not taking it any further.”
Bayliss said he did not get any follow-up from Lehmann after he had raised the comments and did not feel there were any other significant issues between the teams.
“Well, I didn’t get a response. I just left it with Darren to sort out one way or the other. I didn’t hear any response, but everything was dealt with them.
“I’m not going to make too much of it. It was bloody three years ago, let’s move on. [Cricket Australia] can do what they like I suppose – everyone has sort of forgotten about it and moved on since then. I don’t see it as any real big deal.
“It was a hard-fought series…you’re not party to what goes on out on the field and certainly nothing else was reported or anything through that series so we just left it at that.”
In the extract from his book, Moeen went on to explain how England had invited the Australians into their dressing room post-match but the offer was rebuffed until the end of the series.
He revealed he approached the player involved in the initial comments who 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.”