England cricket star Moeen Ali says he was stopped by border officers on his return to the UK from the T20 world cup in India.
Ali arrived at Birmingham Airport on Saturday afternoon ahead of the start of Worcestershire’s county cricket season, but was detained by members of the UK Border Force for 40 minutes.
The Birmingham-born all-rounder is a Muslim of Pakistani origin, and took to Twitter to complain that he was never stopped when he was travelling through airports with the rest of the England team.
Describing the experience as “hard times”, he was supported by fellow English cricketers Adil Rashid and Owais Shah, the latter saying “your beard might have something to do with it”.
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.”
Birmingham Airport officials confirmed Ali had been stopped by UK Border Force agents, but suggested this was because he had “exceeded his duty-free allowance”.
When asked by The Independent why Ali was stopped in the first place, the airport said enquiries should be directed to the UK Border Force.
A spokeswoman for the Home Office declined to comment the cricketer’s case specifically.