Moeen Ali fined by ICC for using unauthorised drying spray on his bowling hand

England all-rounder Moeen Ali has been fined on his Test return for applying an unauthorised drying spray to his bowling hand on day two of the Ashes curtain-raiser at Edgbaston.

Umpires had expressly prohibited players from using any agents to their hands without prior approval ahead of this highly-anticipated LV= Insurance series between England and Australia.

While the International Cricket Council accepted Moeen’s use of the spray was an attempt to reduce perspiration and not a more serious charge of trying to alter the condition of the ball, he was found to have displayed conduct that is “contrary to the spirit of the game”.

As well as being fined 25 per cent of match fee, Moeen has been hit with one demerit point after admitting a breach of article 2.2 of the ICC code of conduct for players and player support personnel.

An ICC statement said: “England player Moeen Ali has been fined 25 per cent of his match fee for breaching Level 1 of the ICC code of conduct during the first Test against Australia in Birmingham on Saturday.”

It was an unwanted birthday present for Moeen, who turned 36 on Sunday and is making his comeback to Test cricket after almost a two-year absence.