England cricketer Moeen Ali was detained by border officials at Birmingham airport for 40 minutes. The all-rounder was returning from the recently concluded ICC T20 World Cup 2016 in India when he was stopped by the border officials.
Branding his treatment at the airport a joke, the star, who is a Muslim of Pakistani origin, tweeted that such things never happen to him when he is travelling with the team in official uniform.
Ali wrote: "Have never been stopped at the airport when travelling with a team in uniform, but travel alone and get stopped for 40 minutes!! Joke."
He later tweeted: "Birmingham Airport!! Hard times."
He was supported by spinner Adil Rashid and batsman Owais Shah, fellow English cricketers of Asian origin. "Your beard might have something to do with it," Shah was quoted as saying by the Independent. Ali played a key role in steering the England team to the final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2016 but was caught for a duck in the dramatic finale, which West Indies won.
The Birmingham Airport Officials confirmed that Ali had been stopped by UK Border Force agents, not because of discrimination of any kind but because he had exceeded his duty-free allowance. A spokesperson later confirmed that the Birmingham-born all-rounder exceeded his duty-free allowance, which is set at £390 ($551).
Ali was previously in the news when he used his status to urge British youngsters not to join the Islamic State (Isis). Calling himself a Muslim but also "very English", he said what irked him was the fact that the media portrayed Islam very unfairly and that Muslims across the world were given more of a bad name.