oeen Ali has come out of Test retirement and joins the Ashes England squad.
The all-rounder returns to the squad after responding to an SOS call from Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum less than ten days before the start of the series after Jack Leach was out with a stress fracture. Ali will join the team in Birmingham on Monday.
Leach’s injury left England struggling for spin options as there were few outstanding candidates in county cricket and players like Will Jacks and Rehan Ahmed still inexperienced as red ball bowlers at the front despite their impressive debuts in Pakistan this winter front were.
As a result, England turned to Moeen, who retired from Test cricket after the 2021 home summer, although he briefly flirted with a return under McCullum last year before turning down a chance to tour Pakistan.
“We contacted Mo earlier this week about returning to Test cricket,” said Rob Key, England’s chief executive for men’s cricket. “Having had a few days to think, Mo is looking forward to joining the squad and playing Test cricket again. His vast experience and all-round skills will benefit our Ashes campaign.”
Persuading the off-spinner to return will be a huge boost for Stokes and McCullum and further testament to the positive environment created under the pair’s leadership. Moeen had said last October that he was “done” with Test cricket.
There remains a big gamble though: the 35-year-old has not played top-flight cricket since winning the last of his 64 friendlies against India two years ago and has a poor record against Australia.
There’s no guarantee Moeen will play in the first Test at Edgbaston, where England could instead launch an all-out attack, although Stokes has picked at least one spinner to captain in all 13 of his Tests so far, whatever the conditions.
https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/cricket/moeen-ali-england-cricket-ashes-squad-leach-b1086110.html Moeen Ali follows England’s SOS call to join the Ashes squad after Jack Leach’s injury