The International Cricket Council has banned England all-rounder Moeen Ali from wearing wristbands featuring slogans 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' in the remainder of the third Test in Southampton against India on Tuesday or any international match after that.
The ICC, in a statement, said that former Australian cricketer and match referee David Boon has prohibited Ali from wearing the bands as players are not permitted to display "political, religious or racial activities" on the cricket field.
"The ICC equipment and clothing regulations do not permit the display of messages that relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes during an international match," the statement read.
"Moeen Ali was told by the match referee that while he is free to express his views on such causes away from the cricket field, he is not permitted to wear the wristbands on the field of play and warned not to wear the bands again during an international match."
Earlier, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had defended Ali, saying that the southpaw's stance was humanitarian and it had nothing to do with politics. The 27-year-old also raised funds for the people of Gaza affected by the ongoing crisis between Israel and Palestine.
According to the rules, no cricketer is allowed to violate clothing and equipment regulations, and a breach of the rules could result in a 50 percent match fee fine. However, many cricketers, including former Zimbabwe players Andy Flower and Henry Olongo have managed to escape ICC's sanctions after showing protests on the field.
The ICC's clothing and equipment regulations states that: "Players are not permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey messages through arm bands or any other items affixed to clothing or equipment unless approved in advance by the player or team official's Board.
"Approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes."
Apart from ECB's support, the Worcestershire player was also backed by British Muslim players, such as Kabir Ali and Ajmal Shahzad for wearing the bands supporting the people of Gaza. Former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood also expressed his support for the English international on social networking site Twitter.