Moeen Ali named Birmingham's professional sportsman of the year less than a month after he was booed playing for England

Ali was targeted by Indian cricket fans during the series between the two sides this summer

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The Independent Online

Moeen Ali, booed in two recent England internationals in his home city of Birmingham, has been voted the professional sportsman of the year in the city's sports awards in recognition of his performances for his club and country in 2014.

Moeen could perhaps have been forgiven for doubting his popularity when he was heckled during 50-over and 20-over matches for England against India at Edgbaston this month.

The hostile reception at Edgbaston, especially loud and persistent during England's NatWest Twenty20 victory over the tourists, came from a partisan majority of India supporters in the crowd.

The 27-year-old Birmingham-born all-rounder acknowledged himself that the boos were probably because of his Pakistani heritage, playing against a team followed by British Asians of Indian descent.

His father Munir made the reaction of the Ali family clear, describing the booing of his son as "disgraceful".

Moeen is nonetheless ending his summer on a high, winning the sportsman of the year award ahead of basketball player Michael Gayle and athlete Danny Talbot - and as part of the Worcestershire team promoted to Division One of the LV 
County Championship.

He also made his Test debut this season, and went on to play in all seven matches against Sri Lanka and India.

Moeen scored a maiden century against Sri Lanka at Headingley and took 19 wickets with his fast-improving off-spin in the five-match series win over India.

PA

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