England all-rounder Moeen Ali has announced his retirement from Test cricket but he will still play in limited-overs internationals. Ali played 64 Tests, making his debut against Sri Lanka in 2014, taking 195 wickets and scoring 2,914 runs. He finishes his Test career with a batting average of 28.29 and a bowling average of 36.66 after he hit five centuries and took five five-wicket hauls.
He also won the 2019 50-over World Cup and is named in England’s preliminary squad for the T20 World Cup. In his statement, he explained his decision to step away from Test cricket, which comes just months before the Ashes. “I’m 34 now and I want to play for as long as I can and I just want to enjoy my cricket,” Ali said. “Test cricket is amazing, when you’re having a good day it’s better than any other format by far, it’s more rewarding and you feel like you’ve really earned it.
“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.” Ali is currently playing for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League and will continue his role for Worcestershire in white-ball cricket. And he thanked his family for all their support throughout his career.
“I have to thank Peter Moores and Chris Silverwood for being my coaches and Peter for giving me my debut. Cookie and Rooty as the captains who I’ve enjoyed playing under and I hope they are happy with how I played. “My parents are my number one, I feel without their support there is no way I would have made it, every game I played was for them and I know they are really proud of me.
“My brothers and my sister, on my bad days they’ve been the first to pick me up and my wife and kids, my wife’s sacrifices and the patience she has, I am really grateful for that. They have all been amazing on my journey, everything I did I did for them.”
Joe Root described Moeen Ali’s retirement from Test cricket as a “huge loss” to England and reflected ruefully that the off-spinning all-rounder sometimes did not get the credit he deserved outside the team. Moeen on Monday announced the end of an eventful Test career filled with highs and lows over the course of seven years and 64 appearances, in which he harvested 2,914 runs at an average of 28.29 and 195 wickets at 36.66. Derek Underwood and Graeme Swann are the only spinners to have taken more wickets for England than Moeen, a 2015 Ashes winner who took a hat-trick against South Africa in 2017 and had five five-fors and as many hundred.
While he endured a turbulent time in the 2017/18 Ashes Down Under and was then dropped after a poor display in the 2019 series opener, which started a long spell out the side, Root insisted Moeen was valued in the inner sanctum. The England captain said: “It goes without saying that Mo’s career speaks for itself and what he has achieved, he’s done some wonderful things in Test cricket and he’s been one of the great guys to play alongside.
“He’ll be a huge loss. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sharing that dressing room with him and we’ve had so many wonderful memories, on the field and off the field. “At times he has been underappreciated, not within the dressing room but outside of that. He’s a great personality to have in and around the dressing room, and he’s a great brain for younger players to learn from and to feed off.