Lack of evidence: Cricket Australia closes probe into alleged Moeen Ali ‘Osama’ slur
Sydney: Cricket Australia (CA) has confirmed that they have closed their investigation into England all-rounder Moeen Ali's racial abuse claims, due to lack of evidence.
Ali had accused an unidentified Australian player of racially taunting him by calling him "Osama" during the first Test of the 2015 Ashes series in Cardiff.
The allegations had prompted Cricket Australia to conduct interviews of 15 players from the squad along with coaches and team management.
The governing body, however, concluded that there is not enough evidence to move forward with the probe. The body further revealed that Moeen Ali has himself decided not to take the matter further.
"We have followed up with the ECB and our team management and confirmed that the incident was investigated at the time, with a response provided to Moeen," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted a CA spokesperson, as saying.
"Moeen elected not to progress the matter any further and we have not been able to ascertain any new additional evidence through our enquiries. As such, the matter is considered closed," the spokesperson added.
The allegations of the abuse were mentioned in Ali's yet-to-be-released autobiography, an excerpt of which appeared in the UK newspaper — The Times, reported cricket.com.au.
Ali claimed, in his book, that he was told, "Take that, Osama," by an Australian player during the first Test of the 2015 Ashes series in Cardiff, wherein Ali made a brilliant Ashes bow, starring with a five-wicket haul and scoring 77 runs in the win.
"It was a great first Ashes Test in terms of my personal performance. However, there was one incident which had distracted me. An Australian player had 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," Ali wrote in his book.
"I told a couple of the guys what the player had said to me and I think (England coach) Trevor Bayliss must have raised it with Darren Lehmann, the Australians' coach. Lehmann asked the player, 'Did you call Moeen Osama?' He denied it, saying, 'No, I said, 'Take that, you part-timer'. I must say I was amused when I heard that, obviously I had to take the player's word for it, though for the rest of the match I was angry," the Birmingham-born all-rounder added.
Ali further stated that the Baggy Greens player refuted the allegations upon raising the issue towards the end of the series, with the latter saying that many of his best friends were Muslims.