Moeen Ali says he is done with Test cricket
Moeen’s contribution hailed as England win Oval game to draw Ashes series 2-2
Retiring players Moeen Ali (left) and Stuart Broad lead England off the field after defeating Australia in the fifth and final Test on Monday (31)
SPINNER Moeen Ali will not be coming out of retirement again after helping England draw the Ashes series against Australia 2-2, he said on Monday (31).
Moeen, 36, quit Test cricket two years ago but was recalled to the squad in June after Jack Leach was injured. It followed a text from captain Ben Stokes, and the all-rounder played four of the five matches in the series.
He moved up the order to bat at number three following an injury to Ollie Pope.
Despite suffering a groin injury, he took three wickets, finishing with figures of 3-76 on the final day at the Oval, as England won the last Test by 49 runs.
“That’s me done,” Moeen told Sky Sports after the match. “If Ben Stokes texts me I’ll delete it. I have enjoyed it and it is great to finish on a high.
“It was great to come back. When Stokesy messaged me, I was a little taken aback but when I said yes, I was fully into it. I have loved it. It has been an amazing experience to play under Stokesy and Baz [England coach Brendon McCullum], one I will never forget for the rest of my life.
“I am so glad I said yes.” The all-rounder has played 68 Tests for England, scoring 3,094 runs – including five centuries – and taking 204 wickets, as well as appearing in 129 ODIs and 74 T20Is. Before he came back for the Ashes series, Moeen had not played a red-ball game in more than two years.
Despite this, McCullum was determined to bring him back into the side, not just for his cricketing ability but also for the positive impact he would have on the team.
“Mo is an incredible character within the dressing room. He has got a real ability to lift the spirits of the other guys. I think we have seen him in this series play without the pressure of the past,” said McCullum.
“What he did in this Test match, and by putting his hand up to bat at No 3 and take pressure off other guys, was the mark of what he is like as a human being. He is a great cricketer.”
Stokes added that Ali, who will continue to play for England in the ODI and T20 formats, had been a “great servant” to the national team.
“A few things were said about Mo, but I chose him because I know what he can do on his best days,” said Stokes.
“When it really mattered, he produced one of his best days.
He changed the game for us. For him to do what he has done is just incredible. “He has been a great servant to England.”