Cricket Australia closes probe into Moeen Ali ‘Osama’ claim

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Cricket Australia closes probe into Moeen Ali 'Osama' claim

Cricket Australia announced Monday it has closed its investigation into Moeen Ali’s claim he was called “Osama” during the 2015 Ashes series, after failing to unearth new details on the allegation.

The England all-rounder and practicing Muslim made the claim in his autobiography, an extract of which was published in Britain’s Times newspaper earlier this month.

Moeen said he was on the receiving end of the slur, a reference to late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, from an unnamed opponent during his Ashes debut in Cardiff.

“An Australian player turned to me on the field and said, ‘Take that, Osama’. I could not believe what I had heard. I remember going really red. I have never been so angry on a cricket field,” said the 31-year-old.

Cricket Australia announced it was launching an investigation, saying the comment was “unacceptable”.

But a CA spokesman said: “We have followed up with the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and our team management and confirmed that the incident was investigated at the time, with a response provided to Moeen.

“Moeen elected not to progress the matter any further and we have not been able to ascertain any new additional evidence through our inquiries. As such, the matter is considered closed.”

Moeen said the Australian player in question had denied making the comment to him at the time.

“I told a couple of the guys what the player had said to me and I think (England coach) Trevor Bayliss (who is himself Australian) must have raised it with Darren Lehmann, the (then) Australians’ coach,” he said.

“Lehmann asked the player, ‘Did you call Moeen Osama?’ He denied it, saying, ‘No, I said, “Take that, you part-timer”‘.”

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