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

ECB defends Moeen's 'Save Gaza' wristband

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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

  • on July 31, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    great moeen ...wonderfull

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • on July 29, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    Its not Political,,,its jus an humanitarian act

  • GRVJPR 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!

  • on July 29, 2014, 4:51 GMT

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

  • TATTUs on July 29, 2014, 4:15 GMT

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

  • stumpedlloyd 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?

  • jmcilhinney 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.

  • CrICkeeet 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...

  • on July 31, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    great moeen ...wonderfull

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • on July 29, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    Its not Political,,,its jus an humanitarian act

  • GRVJPR 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!

  • on July 29, 2014, 4:51 GMT

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

  • TATTUs on July 29, 2014, 4:15 GMT

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

  • stumpedlloyd 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?

  • jmcilhinney 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.

  • CrICkeeet 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...

  • y4yoga on July 29, 2014, 3:19 GMT

    Moen Ali Should be praised for his humanity, and not fine him. Ali wearing that wrist band would draw many people attention to this social cause, He is not wearing an Advertisement for which he has to be fined, In my opinion, Everyone should follow Ali

  • Dilmah82 on July 29, 2014, 2:59 GMT

    I actuall agrre with the cause Moeen is trying to highlight and support, however if the ICC rules state otehrwise the match referee needs to have a friendly word to him and ask him not to do it again without permission. You can't have rules for one player, or one cause and not another, and the ICC will find themselves in a mess (yet again) if they attempt to do so. It's his first instance, no need to come down hard on him but match referee should just remind him of the rules...as for the ECB they should know the rules better. If the rule wasn't there in the first instance it would be different, but its been there for sometime! It maybe humanatarian but when you have the word of what should be another world state it is definetly also political!

  • on July 29, 2014, 2:54 GMT

    Bravo. Wish more players will act like Moeen. You don't have to be Muslim to support Gaza, you only need to be human!

  • on July 29, 2014, 2:54 GMT

    Well done Bro. Amla for SA, Moeen for England.

  • on July 29, 2014, 2:54 GMT

    Costantine... Let me bring some facts to you.. first of all sports and politics have never been mutually exclusive.. Biggest sporting events and grounds have always been the ultimate way to bring attention to injustice and suffering of masses. It is the biggest political stage if you will. Let's not fool ourselves. Starting from Munich Olympics to FIFA 14 world cup.. these are the biggest vehicles for raising awareness for world issues.

  • FanCric111 on July 29, 2014, 2:47 GMT

    I don't know but I want to watch only cricket while watching cricket.

  • on July 29, 2014, 1:17 GMT

    Moeen should be punshied for the violation of ICC code of conduct. "Free Palestein" is a poltical message

  • Ms.Cricket on July 29, 2014, 1:09 GMT

    It was brave of Moeen though inappropriate when the rules don't permit it. However the ECB is proving yet again it is currently filled with stubbon arrogant people who can never admit any wrong.

  • ex-Srilankan on July 29, 2014, 1:02 GMT

    If ECB has no problems with Moeen wearing those wristbands, the ICC should stay out of it. Good luck to Moeen and well done.

  • akasavani on July 29, 2014, 0:50 GMT

    Nothing wrong with what he's done. The man is entitled to his opinion and he's expressed it with dignity.

  • kingkarthik on July 29, 2014, 0:42 GMT

    Humanitarian grounds i can understand, but this issue has more politic and religion associated with it than all other things. A line needs to be drawn and Moeen should be penalised for politicising the game.

  • baskar_guha on July 29, 2014, 0:36 GMT

    Hope more players act like Moeen when it comes to things larger than cricket.

  • on July 29, 2014, 0:33 GMT

    ECB is right. He was not supporting and political agenda. It is just a humanitarian act. People are being killed there why can't he do that?? Even they player support animals. Grow up ICC.

  • WeeBee on July 29, 2014, 0:28 GMT

    Great Job Moeen Ali, if a fine is imposed on him , i think Millions of people will also want to pay fine with him.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on July 28, 2014, 23:57 GMT

    Take a bow Moeen! Kudos for standing up to your conviction regarding innocent civilian suffering. Much respects to you Moeen - from India (an Atheist)!

  • on July 28, 2014, 23:26 GMT

    Proselytising any side of a divisive political issue should not be permitted in Test cricket. It's the beginning of a slippery slope.

  • on July 28, 2014, 23:02 GMT

    he is a GEM of a person.he just convey the message though the media.hats off moeen....

  • on July 28, 2014, 22:20 GMT

    Good on yer Mo! So proud that he plays for England.

  • on July 28, 2014, 22:16 GMT

    Agree, and after all it was next to his 'save syria' wristband.

  • MUHAMMAD_Shamaz on July 28, 2014, 22:01 GMT

    Respect from Pakistan (Y)..

  • on July 28, 2014, 21:29 GMT

    Well done, Moeen. Keep on wearing the wristband.

  • wiiCricket on July 28, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    Here, I would say - bravo to ECB for standing up for Moeen. I, as a Muslim, do not support political matters to be induced into sports. I consider sports to be free from all that but it has crept into many sports. As far as Gaza is concerned, yes you can be supporting a humanitarian cause but there are other ways to do that as well.

  • on July 28, 2014, 21:06 GMT

    The ICC should fine him, but fair play to him regardless if he feels that way.

  • Jaffa79 on July 28, 2014, 20:53 GMT

    I am glad that the ECB are turning a blind eye to this. Well done Moeen...the more publicity that this gets the better.

  • heartbreakerz on July 28, 2014, 20:45 GMT

    well done Moeen...hats off to your courage

  • FieryFerg on July 28, 2014, 20:35 GMT

    Got to disagree with the ECB. If he'd left it at the 'Save Gaza' one it could be construed as humanitarian but the 'Free Palestine' statement is overtly political. ICC have to take some action.

  • on July 28, 2014, 20:27 GMT

    Bravo! Moeen you have showed the courage to speak and support truth about Gaza and suffering Palastine. God Bless u!

  • on July 28, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    More power to Moeen for having the courage of his convictions and the humanity to show his support for others less fortunate than himself.

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  • on July 28, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    More power to Moeen for having the courage of his convictions and the humanity to show his support for others less fortunate than himself.

  • on July 28, 2014, 20:27 GMT

    Bravo! Moeen you have showed the courage to speak and support truth about Gaza and suffering Palastine. God Bless u!

  • FieryFerg on July 28, 2014, 20:35 GMT

    Got to disagree with the ECB. If he'd left it at the 'Save Gaza' one it could be construed as humanitarian but the 'Free Palestine' statement is overtly political. ICC have to take some action.

  • heartbreakerz on July 28, 2014, 20:45 GMT

    well done Moeen...hats off to your courage

  • Jaffa79 on July 28, 2014, 20:53 GMT

    I am glad that the ECB are turning a blind eye to this. Well done Moeen...the more publicity that this gets the better.

  • on July 28, 2014, 21:06 GMT

    The ICC should fine him, but fair play to him regardless if he feels that way.

  • wiiCricket on July 28, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    Here, I would say - bravo to ECB for standing up for Moeen. I, as a Muslim, do not support political matters to be induced into sports. I consider sports to be free from all that but it has crept into many sports. As far as Gaza is concerned, yes you can be supporting a humanitarian cause but there are other ways to do that as well.

  • on July 28, 2014, 21:29 GMT

    Well done, Moeen. Keep on wearing the wristband.

  • MUHAMMAD_Shamaz on July 28, 2014, 22:01 GMT

    Respect from Pakistan (Y)..

  • on July 28, 2014, 22:16 GMT

    Agree, and after all it was next to his 'save syria' wristband.