The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has defended the decision of Moeen Ali wearing of wristbands with slogans of “Save Gaza” and “Free Palestine” written on it during the ongoing third of the five match Investec Test series between England and India at The Ageas Bowl.
Moeen, a sacred Muslim who wears a long beard, as he “wants people to know I am a Muslim“, wore the wrist bands while batting in England’s first innings. He had not informed the ECB that he was going to wear them and so continued to wear them in the field during Indian innings on the second evening.
He wasn’t been asked to remove them, but he could be facing punishment from the ICC if they decide that he has breached their clothing and equipment regulations.
According to section F of the relevant ICC code: “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.“
An ICC spokesman confirmed they are going to investigate over the matter. Moeen Ali, who is playing just his fifth Test, can face a penalty up to a fine of 50 per cent of his match fee if he is proved to be having committed the Level One offence.
Over this an ECB spokesman insisted Moeen’s stance was “humanitarian not political” and stated that “the ECB do not believe he has committed any offence.“
It is also pointed out that, on the third day of the ongoing Test, the entire England team, including Moeen, will be wearing shirts sporting the Help for Heroes logo. Help for Heroes describes itself as “a UK military charity… formed to help those wounded in Britain’s current conflicts.“
There also will be a minute’s silence observed by both teams of saluting the 100th anniversary of the First World War at 10.56am Local time.