Moeen’s extra clothing featured wrist bands with slogans of ‘Save Gaza‘ and ‘Free Palestine‘ when he came out to bat on Day 2 of the ongoing Test match against India at Southampton.
With this act Moeen has crossed the disciplainary rule of ICC’s section F of the relevant ICC code which states: “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 statement said, “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.“
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had earlier clarified that they were unaware about the plans of Moeen to wear the wristbands but said that they will not prevent him from wearing it.
It is not the first time cricket has struggled for proper grey area between legitimate free speech and political statements. Andy Flower and Henry Olonga were both widely praised for their support against racism of black during the 2003 World Cup, which was designed to turn a spotlight on the political situation in Zimbabwe and not faced even any penality from ICC.