Moeen Ali’s father has hit out at the abuse directed towards the England all-rounder and labelled it “disgraceful”.
The Worcestershire cricketer was subjected to booing by some of the Indian support during England’s T20 win over them at Edgbaston on Sunday.
A complaint of racially motivated abuse from a member of the public has also led police to classify it as a “non-crime hate related incident”, various reports said.
Moeen’s father Munir believes the booing had racial undertones and insisted the Birmingham-born spinner should not have to contend with any abuse.
“We are very disappointed with what happened. It should have been a special day,” he told ESPNcricinfo.
“Moeen was playing for his country in the city of his birth. It is the city I was born in and the city my mother was born in. The whole family was looking forward to it and we thought he would receive a warm welcome.
“Instead he was abused from the start. He was abused because he is a Muslim and because of his Pakistan heritage. That is disgraceful.
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“We have experienced so much kindness and goodwill from all communities – Indian, British and Pakistani – in recent months, so it is disappointing that some supporters let their team down with this behaviour. There is still a problem with racism between Asian communities in the UK.”
The Association of Chief Police Officers defines a hate incident as: ‘”Any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.”
The police would need more evidence to pursue the issue and Ali, who took one for 31 in the game which England won by three runs, does not want to make a complaint, his father added.
Ali, 27, is a left-handed batsman and off-spin bowler who played county cricket for Warwickshire before moving to Worcestershire after the 2006 season. He is a regular on England’s Twenty20 International and Test sides.
Ali wore “Save Gaza” and “Free Palestine” wristbands in connection with the Gaza conflict during the third Test match of the recent Investec Series. The ICC code bars players from “conveying messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes”.
According to the ECB, Moeen’s stance was “humanitarian, not political” and a spokesman stated that “the ECB do not believe he has committed any offence.”
Later in the match the England team wore shirts sporting the Help for Heroes logo, and a minute’s silence was observed by both teams to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
Although Moeen had been cleared by the ECB to wear the bands, the decision was overruled by the match referee, David Boon.