England cricketer Moeen Ali was spotted wearing wristbands depicting his support for Gaza and a free Palestine. With ICC set out on an investigation, England and the Wales Cricket Board have taken a different stance.
According to The Telegraph on July 29, ECB has backed Moeen by stating the player hasn’t committed any offense by wearing the armband.
An ECB spokesperson cleared ECB’s view on the issue and considered the message of humanitarian motives rather than political.
ECB said that his actions are not different from the players wearing the “Help for Heroes” logo on their collars to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War’s commencement during the exact Test match.
Earlier, ICC had released a statement clarifying further investigations to be imposed on the issue. “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.
The match referee told Moeen Ali that while 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” said the governing body for Cricket.
The controversy snowballed when Moeen Ali was pictured wearing armbands bearing the messages “Save Gaza” and “Free Palestine” on the second day of the third match in the ongoing Investec Test series.
Moeen Ali was banned from wearing the armband for the Test series by match referee David Boon.
The England Cricket Board cleared Moeen to wear the armband for the remaining days of the match. Still, ICC might slap a level-one punishment on Moeen if he is found guilty under the violation of the code of conduct on the ground, which could be a fine imposed on the player.
It’s not the first time that Ali has openly expressed his views on the ongoing issues in Palestine. He was pictured as part of the fundraiser event for the Gaza appeal organized by Ummah Welfare Trust in Birmingham last week.
The left-handed batsman made his Test debut against Sri Lanka and scored his maiden century in the second Test match, which turned out to be one of the most exciting matches in recent times. He has been a regular call-up for the country’s T20 internationals.