England v India, 2nd Investec Test, Ageas Bowl, 2nd day July 28, 2014

ECB defends Moeen's 'Save Gaza' wristband


The ECB has defended Moeen Ali for wearing wristbands with the slogans "Save Gaza" and "Free Palestine" during the third Investec Test between England and India at The Ageas Bowl.

Moeen, a devout Muslim who welcomes the position of role-model and says he wears a long beard as he "wants people to know I am a Muslim", first wore the wrist bands when batting in England's first innings. He had not informed the ECB that he was going to wear them and continued to wear them in the field on the second evening.

He has not been asked to remove them, but he could face sanctions from the ICC if they decide he has contravened 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 were investigating the matter. Moeen, playing just his fifth Test, faces a maximum penalty of a fine of up to 50 per cent of his match fee if he is deemed to have committed a Level One offence.

But 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 was also pointed out that, on the third day of the current Test, the entire England team, Moeen included, will wear 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 will also be a minute's silence observed by both teams to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War at 10.56am.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on July 31, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    great moeen ...wonderfull

  • Android on July 30, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    Weldone Moeen for showing the world with same veiws as the whole world. Hats off to ECB for being neutral and standing by the truth. It is purely a humanitarian matter not a political.

  • Dummy4 on July 29, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    I don't see how "Save Gaza" is a political statement. Moeen is simply showing his concern for those innocent civilians who have lost their lives or lost family members in the latest conflict. He (like most people) wants this to stop and for the world to sit up, take notice and actually do something about it.

    He has done nothing wrong and I hope the ECB continue to stand by him.

  • Dummy4 on July 29, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    Its not Political,,,its jus an humanitarian act

  • GAURAV on July 29, 2014, 5:01 GMT

    He should concentrate on playing short pitch bowling better than all these things, it will be much better for him!

  • Android on July 29, 2014, 4:51 GMT

    Proud of you Moeen Ali, its not political its for Humanity,

  • ramachandra on July 29, 2014, 4:15 GMT

    Politics should be kept away from sports. Atleast by the players if not by administrators.

  • SR on July 29, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    I am all for players expressing themselves, even if I might not agree with their statements. Not saying that's the case here. But the wonderful things about freedom of speech is that those who disagree with you get the right to express their views. However, the ICC cannot start picking and choosing what humanitarian statements they allow and what they don't. What happens if a visiting team's player has a wrist band supporting a humanitarian issue?

  • John on July 29, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    There's always grey areas with things like this. Obviously Moeen wants people to notice the wristband and heed the message, otherwise he wouldn't be wearing it. As such, he is bringing politics into the game. I'd have no issue with his attending functions relating to this issue and putting forward his views, even as an official member of the England team, but while they are on the field it is about the game and politics should not be a distraction from that. I don't think that any sort of sanction should be imposed but I do think that he should remove the wristband. If he doesn't then he's putting politics ahead of the team and the game. He has every right to do that but then he doesn't really deserve to be part of the team in that case. I don't think that it's anything to do with this issue particular but rather politics as a whole, as the ICC rule suggests. Let's just keep that stuff out and then there'll be no arguments over it.

  • Khub on July 29, 2014, 3:31 GMT

    If ECB says its alright then ICC should take that.... Dont make "Law and rules" over complicated... law is 4 people, people is nt 4 law...

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