England have defended Moeen Ali for wearing wristbands supporting Gaza and Palestine during the ongoing third cricket Test versus India at Southampton. The 27-year-old Birmingham-born Moeen Ali could face ICC sanctions for violating international dress code.
Moeen, a devout Muslim, first wore the controversial band while batting in England's first innings. According to reports, he had not informed the England and Wales Cricket Board that he was going to wear them. He continued to wear themÂ on Day 2 evening on Monday. (ICC investigating England cricketer Moeen Ali's Gaza wristbands)
An ECB spokesman insisted Moeen's stance was "humanitarian not political" and stated that "the ECB do not believe he has committed any offence." (Read: Commonwealth Games Lifter Faces Sex Assault Charge)
According to reports, on Day 3 of the current Test on Tuesday, the entire England team, Moeen included, will wear shirts sporting the Help for Heroes logo. Help for Heroes describes itself as "a UK military charity... formed to help those wounded in Britain's current conflicts."
There will also be a minute's silence observed by both teams to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
ICC regulations state players should not wear messages relating to "political, religious or racial activities".
According to Rule 19F of the ICC Clothing and Equipment Rules and Regulations, players should not convey messages with their clothing unless approved in advance by the player's official board, but approval would not be granted for political messages.
An ICC spokesman confirmed: "We're investigating and will report in due course."
The India versus England series has already been hit by the Ravindra Jadeja-James Anderson Trent Bridge altercation row. The Moeen Ali wristband issue could become the second serious controversy in this long series.