Moeen Ali will make a comeback: In the Queen’s Birthday Honours, Moeen Ali was given an OBE for services to cricket, and he has admitted that “the door is open” for a comeback to Test cricket under Brendon McCullum’s new England regime.
Moeen noted that his award is a reflection of his role model position among the British Asian community, which is under-represented in the national squad, having progressed from community cricket at Birmingham’s Sparkhill Park to over 200 appearances for his country across all formats.
Last summer, the allrounder cricketer retired from Test cricket after taking 195 wickets in 64 matches and scoring 2914 runs at 28.29, including five centuries. He is still an important part of England’s white-ball setup, having been a member of the World Cup-winning squad in 2019 and serving as the stand-in captain in their most recent series in the Caribbean.
In an interview, he talked about honour and what it means to him as he said, “It is obviously an honour and the more you think about it, the more you realise how nice it is and how rewarding it is. More than anything, I know it makes my parents happy and that’s the most important thing – one of the main reasons for accepting. It’s amazing and my family are really proud and happy.”
“From the word go, as soon as I played for England, people labelled me as being a potential role model. It is a big responsibility because you don’t want to let people down. But then as time has gone on, you kind of accept it and deal with it a lot better. You kind of do inspire a lot of people, especially from the inner city.”
The ex-test cricketer also showed interest in making a comeback to Test cricket after Brendon McCullum was appointed as the new head coach for the Red-ball cricket team. He said, “Baz [McCullum] messaged me asking if I was ‘in’.I have played with him in the Indian Premier League and really enjoyed the way he works. We spoke and he mentioned potentially, in the future, if there is a tour – or whenever, really – would I be available? I said ‘call me at the time’. We’ll see.
He added that he doesn’t want to instigate any team rift or take positions as he said, “The door is open. But I don’t want to disrespect Jack Leach, current England spinner. It’s a difficult job – especially in England – and I know that I back him, I’m right behind him. I don’t want to put any pressure there, he’s a fantastic bowler.
He kept his options open and ended by saying, “But playing for England is amazing, especially at home. And even though it’s sad Chris Silverwood went as head coach and Root stepped down as captain, it’s always exciting when there is a new chapter. Brendon is a straight, honest guy, we’ve had a chat and maybe in the future, potential tours or whatever, who knows?”
We may or may not see the cricketer coming back to playing the long format but it is good to see a player taking an interest in playing Test cricket in a world that is running on T20 cricket. Congratulations to him on the honour and hope that we get to him in a White jersey playing for England again.