London : After months of speculation, veteran England all-rounder Moeen Ali has shut the door on a return to Test cricket, saying he cannot see himself stuck in hotels for months, adding he wasn’t getting any younger at 35.
Moeen, who recently guided England to a historic T20I series win against Pakistan in Lahore leading the side in the absence of regular skipper Jos Buttler, had retired from Test cricket last September to prolong his white-ball career.
But following a change in the England cricket hierarchy, with Ben Stokes replacing Joe Root as captain and New Zealander Brendon McCullum coming in place of chief coach Chris Silverwood, Moeen entertained the though of coming out of Test retirement.
However, in his column for the Daily Mail, Moeen said he had categorically told England Test coach McCullum he was not interested in returning to the longest format of the game.”Baz phoned me, we spoke at length and I said, ‘Sorry, I’m done’.
He understands, he knows the feeling. Test cricket is hard work. I’m 35 and something’s got to give,” said Moeen in his column.”I want to enjoy my cricket and it wouldn’t be fair to reverse my decision and then struggle to give it my all.
It’s time to close the door on that side of my career,” the 35-year-old added.Moeen, who made his Test debut in 2014 and scored 2,914 runs in 64 Tests at an average of 28.29, also picked up 195 wickets with his off spin.
Moeen’s experience of playing in the sub-continent would have come in handy in England’s Test campaign in Pakistan this December, but the left-hand batter said he would not be with the side.”I’ve had an honest chat with Baz (McCullum) and I can’t see myself being stuck in hotels for another month and playing to the best of my ability,” said Moeen.
On winning the closely-contested seven-match T20I series against Pakistan recently 4-3, Moeen said it will help the side go to Australia for the T20 World Cup with a lot of hope, though the all-rounder mentioned England were not the favourites.
“We’re really happy to win this series and we go to Australia in a really good position, but I don’t think we’re favourites for the World Cup,” Moeen said.