England star all-rounder Moeen Ali has sensationally revealed that an unnamed Australian player had once called him ‘Osama’ during an Ashes series match in Cardiff in 2015.
Moeen, who single-handedly demolished the Indian cricket team during the fourth Test of the just-concluded India-England 5-match series, has made the revelation in his autobiography, currently being serialised in London’s The Times newspaper.
Moeen writes, “It was a great first Ashes Test in terms of my personal performance, however there was one incident which had distracted me…An Australian player had turned to me on the field and said, “Take that, Osama.” I have never been so angry on a cricket field. I told a couple of the guys what the player had said to me and I think Trevor Bayliss must have raised it with Darren Lehmann, the Australians’ coach. Lehmann asked the player, “Did you call Moeen Osama?” He denied it, saying, “No, I said, “Take that, you part-timer”.”
Moeen said that he was amused to hear the Australian player’s clarification since ‘there is a world of difference between the words “Osama” and “part-timer”.’
“Although I couldn’t have mistaken “part-timer” for “Osama”, obviously I had to take the player’s word for it, though for the rest of the match I was angry,” added the England all-rounder.
“But our eventual triumph and the Cardiff crowd’s reaction to me comforted me that the Australian player represented nobody,” he wrote.
The off-spinner and left-handed batsman first came up against the infamously aggressive Australians in 2015 before his struggles with both bat and ball played a key role in England’s 4-0 Ashes defeat ‘Down Under’ in 2017/18, which led to him being dropped.
“Everyone you speak to…they are the only team I’ve played against my whole life that I’ve actually disliked,” said Moeen Ali.
Moeen was born in Birmingham to a Pakistani father and an English mother. In his book, he also recounted another experience of encountering a racial slur by an Australian spectator, who asked him when his kebab shop was opening.