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Desperate England fall back on Moeen Ali for the Ashes series against Australia

Somerset left-arm spinner Jack Leach was ruled out of series following stress fracture in his back

PTI London Published 08.06.23, 04:49 AM
Moeen Ali in August 2021

Moeen Ali in August 2021

Veteran England all-rounder Moeen Ali has come out of his Test retirement to join the squad for the Ashes series against Australia beginning on June 16 at Edgbaston.

The 35-year-old had announced his Test retirement after the 2021 tour of India, saying that he “just felt like I was not in it”. He had also lost a full contract in 2019.


But skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum convinced him to revisit his decision as the spin-bowling all-rounder on Wednesday replaced an injured Jack Leach in the squad for the five-Test series. The Somerset left-arm spinner Leach was ruled out of the Ashes following a stress fracture in his back.

“We reached out to Mo (Moeen) early this week about returning to Test cricket,” managing director of England men’s cricket Rob Key said in a statement on Wednesday. “Having had a couple of days to reflect, Mo is excited to join the squad and play Test cricket again.

“His vast experience, along with his all-round ability, will benefit our Ashes campaign. We wish Mo and the rest of the squad well for the Ashes campaign,” he added.

Moeen, who recently won the IPL 2023 trophy with Chennai Super Kings, last played first-class cricket in The Oval Test against India in September 2021.

It also remains to be seen if Moeen’s Test availability is restricted to the Ashes, since England are due to travel to India for a five-Test series at the end of this year.

Moeen has played 64 Tests since his debut against Sri Lanka at Lord’s in 2014, scoring 2,914 runs at 28.29 with five centuries and 14 fifties. He also has 195 wickets at 36.66.

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