ICC has banned Moeen Ali from spoting 'save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' wristbands on Tuesday © Getty Images
ICC has banned Moeen Ali from sporting ‘save Gaza’ and ‘Free Palestine’ wristbands on Tuesday © Getty Images


By Sudatta Mukherjee

Jul 29, 2014

Moeen Ali was criticised by former English bowler Steve Harmison for sporting ‘Save Gaza’ and ‘Free Palestine’ wristbands during the Day Two of the third Test against India at Southampton.


“He’s been a silly boy, I think. He shouldn’t be wearing it. He’s a cricketer, it’s a cricket field and he shouldn’t be wearing that. I think he has been a bit silly and naïve,” Harmison was quoted as saying by BBC.


“He does feel strongly about this, but it should not be on the cricket field. If he wants to do it away from the field, that’s fine, nobody has any problems with that. To do it on the cricket field, I think, is a dangerous thing to do,” he added.


“I don’t think anybody in the ECB knew he was going to do it. I believe if they knew he was going to do it, the ECB would have stopped him wearing it. I don’t think the ECB has really condoned it.” Ali’s cousin, Kabir Ali, who plays for Lancashire, described the ICC’s decision as a “complete joke”.


Earlier, Ali was asked by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to stop wearing the paraphernalia while representing England, read a report from DailyMail. ICC rules state that a player can’t openly support a religious or a political cause while playing a game. Moeen Ali was spotted with two bands surrounding his wrist after England took to the field at Southampton after scoring a massive first innings score against the visitors.


The match referee David Boon banned the batsman from wearing the wristband and an ICC statement said: ‘The ICC Equipment and Clothing Regulations do not permit the display of messages that relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes during an international match.


‘Moeen Ali was told by the Match Referee that whilst he is free to express his views on such causes away from the cricket field, he is not permitted to wear the wristbands on the field of play and warned not to wear the bands again during an international match.’
Players and team officials shall not be permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey messages through arm bands or other items affixed to clothing or equipment unless approved in advance by the player or team official’s Board. Approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes.’


The ongoing struggle at the Gaza strip between Israel and Palestine, has witnessed bloodshed and violence and taken the lives of thousands in Palestine due to constant bombardment in the territory. Celebrities across the world have voiced their opinion on the issue and sportsmen across various disciplines have run into hot water taking Palestine’s side. No cricketer has publicly come out on the issue that has engulfed world politics recently. Moeen Ali’s wristband had the words ‘Save Gaza’ and ‘Free Palestine’ embedded on it.

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