England all-rounder Moeen Ali has announced his retirement from Test cricket on September 27, 2021, to prolong his white-ball career.
The left-hand batting all-rounder scored 2,914 runs in 64 Tests at an average of 28.29 with five centuries and picked up 195 wickets with his off-spin bowling at an average of 36.66.
“I’m 34 now and I want to play for as long as I can and I just want to enjoy my cricket. 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,” Ali 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,” he added.
The Englishman then talked about inspiring many more British Muslims to play for England and also revealed how he got a lot of confidence after seeing South Africa’s Hashim Amla making it to the international level.
“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. I know he wasn’t English but someone like Hashim Amla, when I first saw him, I thought if he can do it I can do it, it does take that little spark,” the English all-rounder said.
“I’d love one day in 8-10 years’ time to say Moeen made it easier for me. There have been guys before me who made it easier, so you hope to open the door for someone else,” he further added.
Ali then thanked his coaches and the current England skipper Joe Root under whom he enjoyed playing the longest format. He then acknowledged the support he received from his family 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,” the off-spinner Ali said.
“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,” he concluded.
The 34-year-old had not played Test cricket since the 2019 Ashes before he appeared in just one Test in Chennai against India earlier this year and then was called up for the recent home Test series against Virat Kohli-led India.
The southpaw will continue to represent England in white-ball cricket and will be playing county cricket for Worcestershire along with domestic Twenty20 tournaments. The all-rounder will also remain a part of England’s plans for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman.