Moeen Ali believes there is no need for sledging to involve personal insults, after it was confirmed that Cricket Australia would be taking no further action in the wake of his allegations that a member of Australia’s 2015 Ashes squad had called him “Osama” during the Cardiff Test match.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4, Moeen insisted he was happy to move on from an incident which occurred three years ago, but which came to light in a serialised extract of his forthcoming autobiography. However, he didn’t rule out the possibility that he could come up against the same unnamed individual in next year’s Ashes.
“That was probably the one [comment] that stands out,” Moeen told the Today programme. “You always get stuff from the crowd, but that was the one that really upset me, I can’t believe he actually said that. But you move on and try and get on with performing for England. It was investigated and it’s all done now, and it’s in the past.”
In the wake of Moeen’s allegations, CA’s integrity unit interviewed numerous Australian players from the 2015 Cardiff Test and team management, while also communicating with the ECB’s own integrity unit. And though they reiterated their “zero-tolerance approach to remarks of this nature”, they concluded that no new evidence had come to light.
Though Moeen conceded that sledging was an accepted tactic for putting an opponent off their game, he felt that the incident in question had crossed the line. “One hundred percent,” he said. “If that is trying to put your opponent off … there’s no room for that in life in general, not just in sports.
“There are ways of putting your opponent off,” he added. “Sometimes you don’t need to say anything. Sometime you can intimidate your opponent just by standing there. There’s ways of doing it, but it’s not my sort of way, you just get on with it.
“Sledging has never been personal, from the stories I hear, it’s been serious but in good humour. More of a mental thing, rather than going personal and taking it too far.
“Personally I don’t do anything,” he added. “I don’t feel like I need to. You can have the passion, but for me it’s more about being a good person and trying to play cricket the right way.”
Asked whether he was likely to face his abuser in the Ashes next summer, Moeen insisted he was not looking any further ahead than the tour of Sri Lanka next month.
“I don’t know if I’ll be in the squad next year,” he said. “If I ever come up against him or someone in that mindset, so be it, but it doesn’t bother me.”