Chennai Super Kings & English all-rounder Moeen Ali is all set to announce his retirement from Test cricket just ahead of the Ashes series. Ali will now focus purely on white-ball cricket & professional cricket leagues like IPL. As per the report by Daily Mail, the all-rounder has already informed captain Joe Root and head coach Chris Silverwood, with the Ashes being a key decision-making point.
Moeen Ali has already been named in the England T20 World Cup squad and is committed to playing the same.
As per ESPNCricinfo, Moeen Ali believes he no longer has the hunger to play the longest format of the game. The 34-year-old Ali is currently in the UAE playing for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL. According to the report, Ali is uncomfortable with the prospect of an extended time away from home in the coming months as was required to be part of the England Ashes squad
"I just wasn't in it"
Moeen Ali tells us why he decided to call time on his Test career pic.twitter.com/V15pzkVS2x
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) September 27, 2021
Speaking to the same publication, Ali said, “I felt like I was done, to be honest. I was hoping to play the last Test – there were a couple of milestones I wanted to pass – but once that game got called off, I realised that was it. Headingley was a great win but I just found I couldn’t concentrate. I’ve played rash shots before and had poor games before. But I just felt like I wasn’t in it. I’ve never felt that before. It’s not that I didn’t want to perform, I just didn’t feel like I was fully wholeheartedly into it.”
— Chennai Super Kings – Mask P😷du Whistle P🥳du! (@ChennaiIPL) September 27, 2021
The England all-rounder added, “You try your best. I just found it really hard to get in the zone bowling, batting and in the field. And the more I tried, I just couldn’t do it. In the past when I came back into the team, it might take a bit of time but then I’m all in. But that series, I just couldn’t do it. The atmosphere felt really good. It was really nice to be back in the dressing room. But I just found cricketing-wise it was a bit of a struggle.”
Moeen added, “I don’t think I lost interest in Test cricket but I think I lost the ability to do it as best as you can. There was part of me thinking about the Ashes this winter. I would have loved to go back and do well because last time I didn’t do so well. But I just felt like I couldn’t do it for that long. It’s such a long trip if I’m not ‘in it’. If I felt like I did in India when I was out there, then I would probably retire after one match. So it’s done.”
Moeen Ali said that while he will miss the red ball action, he hopes that his career is an inspiration for British Muslims growing up. The CSK star said, “I will miss just walking out there with the lads, playing against best in the world with that feeling of nerves but also from a bowling point of view, knowing with my best ball I could get anyone out. I’ve enjoyed Test Cricket but that intensity can be too much sometimes and I feel like I’ve done enough of it and I’m happy and content with how I’ve done.”
“It always takes somebody to inspire you or takes somebody to think if he can do it I can and I hope there are a few people out there who are thinking that,” added Ali.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan had earlier warned some top players will not come to Australia if the isolation measures are too onerous. As it turns out, Moeen Ali is the first to call it time, and it remains to be seen whether any of his colleagues follow suit.
According to The Guardian, Silverwood and Root were accepting and understanding of Ali’s decision but the fact remains that it is another high profile player that will not be making the trip.
England Ashes 2021 Plans in disarray
- Jofra Archer has already been ruled out with injury
- Ben Stokes remains unavailable so far.
- The likes of Jos Buttler also have mentioned their reservations on tour Australia for the Ashes.
- Now Moeen Ali also pulls out of tour by retiring from Test Cricket
Will we see more pullouts or the guidelines will be relaxed? According to a repory by Sportsmail, Cricket Australia has sent fresh guidelines in regard to the tour to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) amid concerns of a player exodus.
While the players have yet to be briefed on the conditions a source reportedly said the guidelines were “better than expected”.
The key issue among the players are whether family members will be allowed to travel with them, and whether quarantine has to be carried out in a hotel room or can be done at a resort and arrangements around training sessions.