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Moeen Ali: Australia's recent Ashes team was the first I have ever disliked

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 14/09/2018

England's Moeen Ali. © Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images England's Moeen Ali.

Moeen Ali has described the recent Australia team as "rude" and admitted they are the only team he has ever played against that he has disliked.

Australian cricket was thrown into turmoil earlier this year when captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft were banned after a ball-tampering scandal during a Test in South Africa.

Many senior figures in the sport have been hugely critical of the aggressive way Australia have played the game in recent years and Moeen has added his voice to the list of critics.

"Everyone you speak to ... 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."

Moeen, who went through a torrid time during the 2017/18 Ashes series in Australia but returned to form to help England beat India 4-1, said he felt no sympathy for Smith, Warner and Bancroft.

"I'm someone who generally feels sorry for people when things go wrong but its difficult to feel sorry for them," he said.

"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.

"Individually they are fine and the Aussies we've had at Worcester have been fantastic, lovely guys."

The ball-tampering scandal was something of a watershed moment for cricket in Australia, with a root-and-branch review launched in its wake.

Tim Paine, who replaced Smith as Test captain, said the furore had been cathartic and would allow them to change their approach and team culture.

Pictures: Cricket stars then and now

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