English Cricketer Ordered Not to Wear 'Save Gaza' Wristbands on the Field

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Moeen Ali and his 'Free Palestine' wristband, July 28, 2014.Credit: AP

England batsman Moeen Ali has been ordered not to wear 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' wristbands while playing on the national team, the International Cricket Council has ruled.

The world governing body was investigating Ali after wearing the wristbands during the second day of the third test against India at Southampton.

Moeen, who has raised funds for charities helping those affected by the three-week conflict with Israel, had the backing of the England and Wales Cricket Board, but the ICC decided that he cannot show solidarity with the Palestinians while playing for England.

Moeen wasn't punished in any way, but was told he must take the wristbands off when he is on the field.

"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," an ICC spokesman said. "Moeen Ali was told by the match referee that, while 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."

Earlier Monday, an ECB spokesperson said, "As far as we are concerned, he has not committed any offence. It is now up to the ICC to decide whether he will face any action."

Ali sported the bands while batting during England's first innings, and the all-rounder risked disciplinary action under the ICC Code of Conduct.

It states: "Players are not permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey messages through arm bands or any 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."

England's Moeen Ali hits a shot during the second day of the third cricket test match of the series between England and India at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England, July 28, 2014. Photo by AP