London: Moeen Ali has been labelled “silly” and “naive” for wearing wristbands supporting the people of Gaza, but his actions look set to be copied in county cricket.
Steve Harmison, the former England fast bowler, criticised Moeen’s actions after the England all-rounder was banned from wearing the wristbands on the third day of the third Test.
“He’s been a silly boy, I think. He shouldn’t be wearing it. He’s a cricketer, it’s a cricket field and he shouldn’t be wearing that. I think he has been a bit silly and na´ve,” Harmison said.
“He does feel strongly about this, but it should not be on the cricket field. If he wants to do it away from the field, that’s fine, nobody has any problems with that. To do it on the cricket field, I think, is a dangerous thing to do.
“I don’t think anybody in the ECB knew he was going to do it. I believe if they knew he was going to do it, the ECB would have stopped him wearing it. I don’t think the ECB has really condoned it.”
The England management were not aware of Moeen’s plans to wear the bands but have supported his right to support what they viewed as a humanitarian cause.
The ICC only has jurisdiction over international cricket and will not be able to prevent players in domestic matches copying Moeen.
Azhar Mahmood, the former Pakistan Test cricketer, said he plans to wear the bands while playing for Surrey against Worcestershire.