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England’s Moeen Ali penalised for ball-tampering in Ashes Test

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has imposed a 25 per cent fine on England off-spinner Moeen Ali’s match fee and given him one demerit point for using a prohibited drying agent on his bowling hand in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston, it said on Sunday.

Moeen violated Article 2.2 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which deals with “changing the condition of the ball in breach of clause 41.3 of the ICC Standard Test Match, ODI and T20I Playing Conditions”.

The incident took place during the 46th over of Australia’s second innings on Saturday, when Moeen was spotted applying saliva to the ball with a lollipop still in his mouth.

Moeen accepted the offence and the sanction suggested by match referee Ranjan Madugalle and there was no need for a formal hearing.

This is Moeen’s second offence in a 24-month period, taking his total demerit points to two. He had received one demerit point for showing dissent at an umpire’s decision during a T20I against India in 2022.

Moeen had a poor comeback to test cricket after retiring from the format in 2021. He scored only four runs and took three wickets in the match, which Australia won by 251 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Moeen was selected ahead of Jack Leach, who was ruled out of the series due to a finger injury. England captain Ben Stokes said he followed his “stomach and heart” with the decision to recall Moeen.

England will hope for a better performance from Moeen and the rest of the team in the second Ashes Test, which starts at Lord’s on Thursday.

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