Updated: Tuesday, 29 July 2014 19:03 | By Agence France-Presse

Cricket chiefs warn England's Ali not to repeat Gaza protest

England's Moeen Ali has been warned by world cricket chiefs not to wear wristbands declaring his support for the people of Gaza during international matches after being photographed with them on during the third Test against India.


Cricket chiefs warn England's Ali not to repeat Gaza protest

A wristband is visible as Moeen Ali fields on the second day of the third Test match between England and India in Southampton on July 28, 2014. AFP Photo / Ian Kington

But the International Cricket Council (ICC) said Ali would face no disciplinary action on this occasion after being warned about his future conduct by match referee David Boon.

Worcestershire all-rounder Ali wore wristbands on Monday that read "Save Gaza" and "Free Palestine" while batting during England's first innings at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

The conflict in Gaza is entering its fourth week. More than 1,100 Palestinians have been killed and dozens of Israelis have lost their lives.

"The ICC equipment and clothing regulations do not permit the display of messages that relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes during an international match," a spokesman for cricket's global governing body told AFP on Tuesday.

"Moeen Ali was told by the match referee that whilst he is free to express his views on such causes away from the cricket field, he is not permitted to wear the wristbands on the field of play and warned not to wear the bands again during an international match."

The 27-year-old Ali, a Birmingham-born practising Muslim of Pakistani descent, was photographed recently helping raise funds for Gaza relief efforts in his home city in central England.

Ali's wristbands were only on public display briefly on Monday while he made 12 runs off 28 balls before he was dismissed. 

On Monday, the England and Wales Cricket Board insisted it had no issues with Ali's conduct. 

"As far as we are concerned, he has not committed any offence," an ECB spokesman said, adding it was up to the ICC to decide what action, if any, Ali should face.

Other cricketers expressed their support of Ali on Twitter. 

"Absolutely love this! Well done Moeen bro! Keep showing your support! #Pray4Gaza" wrote former England cricketer Ajmal Shahzad.

"Good on brother mo! #prayforGaza" wrote Lancashire and former England bowler Kabir Ali, Moeen's cousin.

"We have always worn wristbands or ribbons when showing support 4an incident or raising awareness,we do it for animal rights too, y not humans," wrote former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood.

On Friday, Malaysian cyclist Azizulhasni Awang was warned he risked being thrown out of the Commonwealth Games if he again wore gloves bearing the message "Save Gaza". 

Awang insisted his message was "humanitarian" rather than politically charged but he issued an apology.

Before play began on Tuesday's third day of the third Test, players from both sides stood to observe a minute's silence in memory of cricketers who lost their lives in World War I, a hundred years on from the start of that conflict.

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