Moeen Ali has little sympathy for Australia in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal after he described the team’s “rude” behaviour during recent clashes.
The England all-rounder suffered a miserable 2017-18 Ashes tour, averaging less than 20 with a high score of 40 with the bat, while his five wickets came at an eye-watering average of 115 as Joe Root’s side were hammered 4-0.
In March this year, Australia became mired in controversy after it was revealed that captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft had hatched a plot to illegally alter the condition of the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
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The shocking developments prompted outrage from around the cricketing fraternity and the trio were subsequently banned, a succession of contrite and teary-eyed news conferences belatedly drawing a degree of sympathy.
But Moeen, man of the match in England’s fourth-Test win over India at the Rose Bowl recently, found it hard to feel sorry for the Australian team and their plight.
“They are the only team I’ve played against my whole life that I’ve actually disliked,” he told The Times.
“Not because it’s Australia and they are the old enemy, but because of the way they carry on and [their] disrespect of people and players.
“I’m someone who generally feels sorry for people when things go wrong, but it’s difficult to feel sorry for them.
“The first game I ever played against them, in Sydney, just before the 2015 World Cup, they were not just going hard at you, they were almost abusing you.
“That was the first time it hit me. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, but the more I played against them they were just as bad, the Ashes here [in 2015] they were worse, actually. Not intimidating, just rude.”
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