British-Pakistani Moeen Ali becomes first Muslim to lead England in T20s

After Nasser Hussain, Ali became the first Asian to captain England in any format of cricket.

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Moeen Ali, a British-Pakistani, has become the first Muslim to lead the English cricketing team in the shortest version of the game. Ali, of Kashmiri origin, lead the England team in a T20 match against the Australian team on Tuesday.

He is an all-rounder, a left-handed batsman, and right-arm off-spinner, who played county cricket for Warwickshire before moving to Worcestershire. Cricket commentators believe it was a landmark moment in the history of Britain that a British-Asian Muslim of Pakistani descent led England’s cricket team, even if it was a one-off.

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Moeen Ali lead the English side in the third T20I match of the series against tourist side-Australia at Ageas Bowl, Southampton. After Nasser Hussain, Ali became the first Asian to captain England in any format of cricket.

 

He replaced the injured captain Eoin Morgan and rested vice-captain Jos Butler. When asked about his feelings of leading a World-cup winning team, England, Moeen said, “It’s an absolute honor to captain your country”.

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The grandfather of Ali migrated to England from Mirpur, Azad Kashmir. His grandmother, Betty Cox, was of British origin. He can understand Urdu and Punjabi. Ali’s father worked as a taxi driver and as a psychiatric nurse.

The cricketer first told about his grandmother, in a team-bounding session in 2015 ahead of the Ashes series. In the session, cricketers were asked to make a fact unknown about themselves anonymously. He wrote “my grandmother’s name is Betty Cox” on a piece of paper given to him, reports ESPN.

 

But since he was scrutinized more than any English player and booed in his country, it would not be less than a milestone for Ali to head his team. Ali made his ODI debut against the West Indies on 28 February 2014. He scored 44 runs before being dismissed and took his maiden ODI wicket.

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