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  1. #1
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    "Asian cricketers do get judged quicker than others and people do write you off quicker" : Moeen Ali

    Amid a backdrop of racism claims in the national game, the all-rounder tells Saj (for isport) what can be done so more minorities reach the top




    Moeen Ali would be the first to admit that his recent form for *England has been below par, but the all-rounder has one particular memory to treasure from an unusual season.

    Captaining England last month in the third T20 against Australia in Southampton was a career highlight – and one that Moeen hopes could inspire Asian cricketers in future.

    “It was a strange summer with everything going on, and while it wasn’t a memorable period for me, I managed a couple of good performances here and there,” he tells i. “Captaining England was a very proud moment for me that I will never forget.

    “It was a dream come true. I guess we will only realise in future just what an impact it will have had on young Asian cricketers. Considering my background and where I am from, I think it’s quite an achievement to have captained England. I don’t look at it from the point of view of me being the first Muslim to captain England, rather I take the view that it’s about who I represent and what I represent.”

    Recent allegations about the plight of some Asian cricketers in the UK have highlighted the problems faced by minorities at the highest levels of the game. Moeen feels that players such as himself have a duty to act as role models.

    “I think Adil Rashid, Saqib Mahmood and I have a responsibility to inspire and to open doors in people’s minds,” he says. “Young Asian cricketers can look at us and see that playing for England is not impossible, it’s a realistic prospect and that anything can be achieved if you really put your mind to it.”

    Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of institutional racism at Yorkshire have raised some worrying issues and led the county to appoint a sub-committee to investigate the claims. Birmingham-born Moeen feels that the treatment of cricketers from ethnic minorities has improved, but Yorkshire will need to adequately investigate the issues raised and ensure that such matters are resolved.

    “It seems that Azeem has been through a lot and if what he is saying is correct then something has to be done,” he says. “Azeem and the club need to be open about the situation, come together and try to break down those barriers that have possibly existed at the club.

    “Things have changed now, not just in English cricket but around the world and in society as a whole, and nobody should have to accept such behaviour.

    “If Azeem has suffered, then it’s a massive shame and something has to be done about it. I don’t see why Azeem and Yorkshire County Cricket Club cannot get together and work things out for future generations of Asian cricketers, so these types of accusations don’t rear their ugly head again.”

    Moeen says racist abuse has been directed at him at some venues but he is confident that things have improved considerably in this regard around the world. “Over the years I have experienced racist abuse from sections of the crowd in some parts of England and also in Australia, particularly during the early stages of my career. It was definitely harder at some venues and I’d feel the hostility and abuse regularly at those grounds. But I believe that things have moved on in most parts of the world and this is something that has definitely changed for the better nowadays.”

    Despite his optimism, the proportion of Asian players making it to county level and beyond is minimal. But Moeen says this is not entirely the fault of the system.

    “The lack of Asian cricketers coming through the system and into cricket isn’t just the fault of the counties. I believe that part of the blame is the lack of understanding from Asian cricketers and their families of what is actually required to become a professional cricketer.




    “It’s not just about batting and bowling, there’s more to playing cricket than just that. There is a whole attitude which goes towards playing cricket professionally.

    “But having said that, Asian cricketers do get judged quicker than others and people do write you off quicker than everybody else.

    “Both parties are guilty to an extent, but I do find it surprising that more Asian cricket talent is not coming through from places such as Bradford, Birmingham, London and Manchester.

    “Sometimes the issue of culture comes into it and just because as a coach you have Asian cricketers who don’t relate to you, that should not mean you cannot handle them. You have to develop and learn about other people’s cultures and understand how people work, which I think some coaches fail to do.”

    Recent pictures of a Muslim cricketer who represents Essex having alcohol poured over him at Lord’s have resulted in apologies from captain Tom Westley. For Moeen the issue confirms the need for improvement in the education of young cricketers.

    “I don’t entirely blame the Essex cricketer who poured alcohol over his Muslim team-mate recently at Lord’s,” he says. “If you look at the example of Adil Rashid and I stepping aside at the World Cup celebrations, the awareness and education is out there.

    “Many people will already know that as Muslims we don’t drink or associate with alcohol, but perhaps there is a need to increase the education within English cricket for younger players, as some will not know about the Muslim culture.

    “It was probably an innocent mistake from a young man who will no doubt learn from the experience.”

    The Indian Premier League has recently commenced in the UAE due to health concerns brought on by the presence of COVID-19 in India. Moeen is once again part of the star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore squad and is hopeful that he can display his skills in a tournament that he feels is amazing.

    “We’ve got a very good side at Royal Challengers Bangalore, including Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Aaron Finch. We’ve made a decent start but it’s unfortunate that I’ve not had a chance yet after doing so well last year for them. But when new coaches come in, they have new ideas and there have been changes within the squad too. In a long tournament like this you have to be patient and wait for your chance. I was in this position a couple of years ago and had to bide my time, be patient and keep knocking on the door. It’s an amazing tournament and there have already been some brilliant matches and incredible individual performances. It’s just great that people can watch such a high-quality tournament at such a difficult time for everyone.”

    Moeen would be the first to admit that his recent form for England has been below-par, but the Worcestershire all-rounder is still hopeful of playing a role for his country in all three formats in future.

    “I’m regularly in touch with Joe Root and the coaching staff. There is just so much uncertainty regarding future tours so it’s difficult to say what tours will take place and when. If the selectors want me, then of course I will play in whatever format they pick me for. I’m 33 now so I know that I’m no longer a young man. You have to be realistic as you never know when your last international game will be, so my philosophy is that I just want to play for England as much as I can in future in any format they want me to.”

    https://inews.co.uk/sport/cricket/mo...ershire-676452
    Last edited by MenInG; 3rd October 2020 at 15:46.


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  2. #2
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    I feel Moeen just one good performance away to regain his confidence and be back in the reckoning for England LOI sides.


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  3. #3
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    More Asian players need to be given fair chances in counties. I don't buy the argument that they are not good enough. There is a pretty big contingent of Asians in places like Bradford and Birmingham - they need equal treatment.

  4. #4
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    Think it's not right to use asian players as a catchall term for this issue. I might change my opinion when more than a few Indian/Lankan/Bangladeshi players raise grievances similar to those as pakistani players.

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    Not just cricket but every walk of life. You need to be three times better than any native citizen to get picked for the same role. And that's fair.

    Moeen says wise words, but rich coming from someone who is quite mediocre and has been given a lot of opportunities.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Energy View Post
    Not just cricket but every walk of life. You need to be three times better than any native citizen to get picked for the same role. And that's fair.

    Moeen says wise words, but rich coming from someone who is quite mediocre and has been given a lot of opportunities.

    Are you sure bud? How else do you explain then that British law firms are picking the left overs at NUJS ( law school in kolkata) but even more curiously they are fast tracked to partnership overwhelmingly?

  7. #7
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    Heís right.

  8. #8
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    Its a game of runs and wickets. He needs to score when he gets his chance and take wickets. He is lucky to be in the England squad based on his recent performances

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Energy View Post
    Not just cricket but every walk of life. You need to be three times better than any native citizen to get picked for the same role. And that's fair.

    Moeen says wise words, but rich coming from someone who is quite mediocre and has been given a lot of opportunities.
    Itís fair to be three times better for the same role, just because of the color of your skin?

  10. #10
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    Most of the racism in todays world belongs in the mind of minorities. The vast majority of people don't care about your race, stop creating invisible enemies.

  11. #11
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    Look at the careers of Asian cricketers how quickly they were messed around in and out of team, then look at their counterparts its a real issue.

    Did Ian Bell, Graham Hick have more chances than Ramprakash, Owais Shah.
    Its not just England.

    Look at Australia... Usman Khawaja getting the same opportunities as counterparts....

    There is a fine line sometimes it maybe unintentional but it exists.... Facts and Figure would bear this out.... by now.....

  12. #12
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    An average cricketer carries a chip on his shoulder and blames outside forces. Moeen and Khwaja fall in that category. When have they performed consistently in long run ? Both are bog average. Moeen had good first few years but now he has been found out. Khawaja has just 1 test century outside and his returns in Australia have diminished with time.
    There may be bias against Asians but these two have got ample opportunities.
    They were not able to cash in. These boys are crying wolf now.

  13. #13
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    No where has Moeen stated that he didn't get a fair chance. Seems a few reading things in his interview which he hasn't said.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by aloo paratha View Post
    Most of the racism in todays world belongs in the mind of minorities. The vast majority of people don't care about your race, stop creating invisible enemies.
    Yes let's downplay actual instances of raicsm, where michel holding cries while talking, where players talk about commiting suicide. Its all in the mind of course

    I thknk the biggest enemies of Asians are Asians themselves. They have such an inferiority complex that they feel that the majority race is superior and irs ok if they are treated as second class citizens. So in their mind as long as they are not slaves they can be treated badly and thats ok and they should shut up and take it. The previous generation has especially been brought up to believe in this mentality. But the current generation is much braver and have more self respect so they are hitting back

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    Quote Originally Posted by Indiafan View Post
    Yes let's downplay actual instances of raicsm, where michel holding cries while talking, where players talk about commiting suicide. Its all in the mind of course

    I thknk the biggest enemies of Asians are Asians themselves. They have such an inferiority complex that they feel that the majority race is superior and irs ok if they are treated as second class citizens. So in their mind as long as they are not slaves they can be treated badly and thats ok and they should shut up and take it. The previous generation has especially been brought up to believe in this mentality. But the current generation is much braver and have more self respect so they are hitting back
    I'm talking generally. I can't speak for Azeem or Michaels personal experiences. I'm talking about this "Asian cricketers get judged harder" generalization and attitude. Which British Asian cricketer is giving extraordinary performances and being left out for it? Nobody. A statement like this only discourages a young kid, who thinks "I shouldn't even take up the game, the white man will always hold me back". Again, creating invisible enemies.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cricketrenew View Post
    Look at the careers of Asian cricketers how quickly they were messed around in and out of team, then look at their counterparts its a real issue.

    Did Ian Bell, Graham Hick have more chances than Ramprakash, Owais Shah.
    Its not just England.

    Look at Australia... Usman Khawaja getting the same opportunities as counterparts....

    There is a fine line sometimes it maybe unintentional but it exists.... Facts and Figure would bear this out.... by now.....
    What a load of nonsense. Hick and Ramprakash were given similar opportunities and Hick showed himself to be the more competent international cricketer. Bell and Shah were trying to break into very strong batting lineups. Bell capitalised on his early opportunities whilst Shah was very poor in the similar opportunities he got in comparison.
    Last edited by HitWicket; 4th October 2020 at 21:47.

  17. #17
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    Moeen raises an interesting point that it is not just counties that are responsible for Asian players not breaking through but an equal fault of Asian families not understanding what it takes to become a professional sportsman.

    This to me is a key reason that we as Asians neglect and are quick to dismiss.

    Talent only gets you so far and this is no different to those PPíers who work for the top financial companies such as Price Waterhouse Coopers. It wasnít just your 1st class degree that got you in and / or promoted but your interpersonal skills and networking ability and PROFESSIONALISM.

    If a Bradford Asian young man has talent then that may work in mercurial counties such as Pakistan but wonít lead to success in England where they want to see a rounded character too.

    You can call it what you want but I call it Ďplaying the gameí. Moeen and his family must of played it and others have to if they wish to hit the top levels.

  18. #18
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    “Both parties are guilty to an extent, but I do find it surprising that more Asian cricket talent is not coming through from places such as Bradford, Birmingham, London and Manchester.
    Interesting point.

    You go to parks and cricket clubs in these cities and they will be full of talented Asian cricketers, but where is that talent going, why is it not making it to the top?

    Is it fair to just blame the scouts and the system, perhaps Asian lads and their families want success handed on a plate to them?



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HitWicket View Post
    What a load of nonsense. Hick and Ramprakash were given similar opportunities and Hick showed himself to be the more competent international cricketer. Bell and Shah were trying to break into very strong batting lineups. Bell capitalised on his early opportunities whilst Shah was very poor in the similar opportunities he got in comparison.
    Hick was ATG county player....

    Bell was given so many chances ... more than other asian players... even Ballance was give more opportunities....

    But it doesn't matter what I say.... Facts and figures will prove me wrong or right....

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    Interesting point.

    You go to parks and cricket clubs in these cities and they will be full of talented Asian cricketers, but where is that talent going, why is it not making it to the top?

    Is it fair to just blame the scouts and the system, perhaps Asian lads and their families want success handed on a plate to them?
    Not really they want a fair chance....

    I have so many players continuously brushed aside... that you only make it if your face fits...
    Its been going on for a long long time....

    Yorkshire I am sure would have at least 4-5 players in the first team if selection was fair and based on talent only.

    Lets not talk about Warwickshire.... its Worcester that actually picks some asian players from local regions... Warwick something is not right....

    for both clubs as the nest generation comes in... the next 10 years will see a doubling of asian talent in both these clubs I believe.


  21. #21
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    Most Asian cricketers have been poor for England and it goes against the myth that they have to be twice as good as a white player to get a chance.

    Also, the more mediocre an Asian player is, the more likely like he is going to whine about racism and play victim.

    Moeen regularly plays victim because it gives him an opportunity to deflect the attention away from his shocking performances in the last couple of years.

    He basically sabotaged Englandís World Cup campaign and they only started winning when he was kicked out. He should consider himself lucky that he is still getting picked in white ball cricket.

    It is not surprising that someone like Adil Rashid has never (or rarely) whined about racism and he didnít even back up Rafiqís accusations regarding Yorkshire CCC.

    Adil Rashid knows he doesnít need to play any cards. He is a vital member of the England setup and carries his own weight as a key performer.

    He is a proper role-model for Asian cricketers. No complaining, no whining, no victim cards. Regardless of your skin color and ethnicity, it is about performing on the pitch at the end of the day, and he does that quite consistently.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cricketrenew View Post
    Not really they want a fair chance....

    I have so many players continuously brushed aside... that you only make it if your face fits...
    Its been going on for a long long time....

    Yorkshire I am sure would have at least 4-5 players in the first team if selection was fair and based on talent only.

    Lets not talk about Warwickshire.... its Worcester that actually picks some asian players from local regions... Warwick something is not right....

    for both clubs as the nest generation comes in... the next 10 years will see a doubling of asian talent in both these clubs I believe.
    Warwickshire is just incredible.

    So much Asian talent under their nose, with local leagues packed full of Asian cricketers, yet hardly any of it makes it to County cricket.



  23. #23
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    Not the best of starts for Moeen in this year's IPL.

    Out for 11 off 13 balls.



  24. #24
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    Brother Moeen clearly a talented cricketer but just isn’t the most enthusiastic for the big occasion.

  25. #25
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    He is bits and pieces.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cricketrenew View Post
    Hick was ATG county player....
    Yes, just like Ramprakash who got a similar opportunity to him despite Hick outperforming him at international level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cricketrenew View Post
    Bell was given so many chances ... more than other asian players... even Ballance was give more opportunities....
    As we've already established the closest Asian equivalent to Bell in his early career was Owais Shah, the difference between them was 1) Bell was pushing into a team where a potential spot in the batting order was opening up and 2) Bell took his chances and performed when given them unlike Shah.

    Ballance was the standout batsman by a mile in county cricket and then performed brilliantly in his early test career and was dropped when he was later found out. Heck, he still averages nearly 40 in test cricket.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cricketrenew View Post
    Lets not talk about Warwickshire.... its Worcester that actually picks some asian players from local regions... Warwick something is not right....
    Who was the last Asian player to come through the system at Worcestershire?

  27. #27
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    I've experienced this as a Pakistani-American and my other Asian friends have experienced the same. We get treated worse than Blacks and Latinos because we're not as numerous as them. There's strength in numbers. The blacks among us don't help our case.
    Last edited by Saj; 6th October 2020 at 02:43.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by HitWicket View Post
    Yes, just like Ramprakash who got a similar opportunity to him despite Hick outperforming him at international level.



    As we've already established the closest Asian equivalent to Bell in his early career was Owais Shah, the difference between them was 1) Bell was pushing into a team where a potential spot in the batting order was opening up and 2) Bell took his chances and performed when given them unlike Shah.

    Ballance was the standout batsman by a mile in county cricket and then performed brilliantly in his early test career and was dropped when he was later found out. Heck, he still averages nearly 40 in test cricket.



    Who was the last Asian player to come through the system at Worcestershire?
    Moeen, Kabir Ali..... but Warwick is shameful.... considering the the local leagues..... the players at the club are not the best available.... the club needs an external review

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cricketrenew View Post
    Moeen, Kabir Ali..... but Warwick is shameful.... considering the the local leagues..... the players at the club are not the best available.... the club needs an external review
    Yes it's incredible given all the Asian talent in the Birmingham area and playing in the Birmingham leagues.



  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cricketrenew View Post
    Moeen, Kabir Ali..... but Warwick is shameful.... considering the the local leagues..... the players at the club are not the best available.... the club needs an external review
    Moeen came through the system at Warwickshire... Kadeer Ali and Aneesh Kapil are the only 2 Asian cricketers I can think of off the top of my head that have come through the Worcestershire system and debuted this century.
    Last edited by HitWicket; 9th October 2020 at 03:16.

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    He has been rubbish for a long time. What does he expect people to say? When you are not performing you will be criticized. I cannot remember Moen admitting that he has not been good enough. All he has done is blame everyone else for his own shortcomings.

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    I think people who are not from uk or those who donít have any idea or experience of club cricket and how youth county cricket works etc should refrain from making quick judgements as if they know everything and also refrain from making ignorant comments based on Moeens Aliís recent performances.

  33. #33
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    Warwickshire County Cricket Club has graduated pace bowler Manraj Johal from its Academy to the professional ranks.

    Johal, 19, currently takes the new ball in the Birmingham & District Premier League for West Bromwich Dartmouth and been a Bear since the under 11s age group. He graduates after a year in the Warwickshire Academy and two years in the Emerging Player Programme (EPP).


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    Meanwhile Adil Rashid's thoughts on the issue:

    “I have always felt that if you are good enough you will get the chance, whatever race or religion you are,” he said. “However, I do look at the leagues in Yorkshire and wonder why more Asian lads are not coming through. They have the aspirations and dreams to play county cricket and need to make the most of the opportunity which I feel is there for all.

    “It would please me no end to see more home-grown Asian boys from Leeds or Bradford making it at Yorkshire and I’d be really happy to see in future a Yorkshire team made up of several Asian lads in the starting XI. Seeing more Asians making it at Yorkshire would really tighten the bond between the club and the Asian community in the region.”

    While many factors have been given for the absence of Asian names among county line-ups, the role of parents in encouraging and supporting their children is vital and one that Rashid can relate to with his own father’s example.

    “My advice to young Asian cricketers is to first and foremost enjoy playing the game, give your all and don’t lumber yourself with the worry of playing professionally,” Rashid said. “I would also advise Asian parents to do all they can for their children if they want to play cricket professionally. I recall that my father did so much for me when I was growing up and the sacrifices he made were huge. He would drive a taxi through the night, come home, have a couple of hours’ sleep, and then take me around the country to wherever I was playing for Yorkshire’s junior sides. He would stay with me all day while I was playing cricket, drive me home and then he would go out to work again.

    “You don’t become a professional cricketer overnight. The level of support and dedication from parents has to be there throughout and it has to be there from a young age. If the level of dedication isn’t there or the parents haven’t got the time to support their child with his or her dream, then it’s going to be difficult for that child to make it. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why more Asian cricketers aren’t coming through the system.”

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