Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid were two heroes of their team’s victory against the Indian team in the fourth and fifth Test match of the just-concluded cricket series.
Moeen and Adil have become two permanent members of the England team despite Muslim population being just 5% of UK. However, on both occasions, the two Muslim players had to quickly run away from the team’s victory celebrations since they entailed spraying of champagne.
Since alcohol is prohibited in Islam, both Moeen and Adil, ran away after getting the team photo clicked. The videos of the two Muslim players, who’ve become the permanent members of the English team, went viral.
Post victory celebration of England team. Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali went to the side when other Englishmen opened Champagne. ?? pic.twitter.com/v5x1BBUbXV
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) September 12, 2018
— BVKa (@flipkarthik) September 11, 2018
What many did not realise that the video of two members of the Test series winning team not being able to celebrate the victory together broke the hearts of many English fans and cricket pundits.
Sports journalist James Gray wrote, “It’s time for England to stop celebrating with champagne. The sight of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid stepping aside so the lads can celebrate properly really doesn’t make them look like a team.”
It’s time for England to stop celebrating with champagne. The sight of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid stepping aside so the lads can celebrate properly really doesn’t make them look like a team.
— James Gray (@jamestingray) September 11, 2018
BBC cricket commentator Kit Harris wrote, “It would have been nice to have a trophy-lifting ceremony that Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali could participate in. What’s more important, the champagne or the players?”
It would have been nice to have a trophy-lifting ceremony that Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali could participate in. What’s more important, the champagne or the players? https://t.co/48Q4JMUmW5
— Kit Harris (@cricketkit) September 13, 2018
On Saturday Moeen led his side Worcestershire to win the title of English T20 Blast by playing a knock of 41 runs before taking 3 wickets as a bowler. But on this occasion, the entire Worcestershire side waited for him to celebrate the victory together without champagne. This gave rise to hopes of many, who appeared excited that the team had junked the idea of champagne celebration.
One fan wrote, “Finally, Moeen is able to celebrate as a winner and the champagne is ditched.” Another commented, “Please no champagne. Moeen having to run away again will piss me off no end.”
They were later disappointed when the Worcestershire team indeed sprayed champagne after the departure of Moeen. But the decision evoked angry reactions from the fans. The same fans reacted using expletives such as ‘Oh for fu**’s sake.”
Last year, Moeen Ali was adjudged the Man Of The Series after England beat South Africa 3-1. Recalling a story, former England captain Nasser Hussain had said how the then captain of the team, Alistair Cook, had left him emotional with his gesture towards Moeen.
Hussain had said that just when the team members were about to open the champagne bottle to celebrate the historic victory against South Africa, Cook noticed that the real hero of the side was standing at a distance to avoid the touch of alcohol. This hurt him as he asked his players to hold off the champagne spray and called Moeen to be in the team photo.
Moeen stepped aside again, but only after the team photo was taken. Nasser (see the video) had said, “I think that’s the sort of culture you want to create.”
How beautiful is this. When will we have such level of tolerance in Pakistan? pic.twitter.com/ItTp01rJ5w
— Yasir Ali Hashmi (@YasirAliHashmi1) June 2, 2018
The latest demands by English fans and pundits to do away with alcohol to respect the sentiments of their Muslim players shows the kind of tolerance they want in their country. Only if India could learn from them.