Veteran England all-rounder Moeen Ali has come out of his Test retirement to join the squad for the five-Test 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’, having also lost a full contract sometime in 2019.
But England skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum convinced him to revisit his decision as the spin-bowling allrounder was on Wednesday replaced an injured Jack Leach in the squad.
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 Ali) 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 for the Anthony de Mello Trophy, the Telegraph added.
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.
While the prospect of playing five-day cricket with the red ball produces a challenge in itself, England and Moeen will also be facing the task of improving the all-rounder’s performance against Australia.
In 11 Tests against Australia, he has 476 runs at 25.05 with two fifties. He averages 64.65 with the ball, having taken 20 wickets against England’s arch-rivals.
England's Ashes Squad Ben Stokes (Captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root,Josh Tongue, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.