When Moeen Ali took to the field earlier this week wearing wrist bands displaying the messages “Free Palestine” and “Save Gaza” he was probably right in calculating that his small protest against Israel’s ongoing oppression of the Palestinians would pass unpunished by cricketing authorities.
After all, they were only wristbands, and besides, the entire England team was wearing ‘Help for Heroes’ logos on their strips, expressing the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) support of British military servicemen and women who have been wounded in armed conflicts.
However, Ali appears to have underestimated the growing backlash facing those who dare to suggest criticism of Israel. So while the ECB could not with any consistency deny him the right to wear the wristbands while it supported Help for Heroes, it left it to the International Cricketing Council, the sport’s supreme governing body, to take that decision.
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