Srinagar: England star all-rounder Moeen Ali has confirmed that he will not be available for the India tour at the start of next year despite Brendon McCullum’s request to play on.
Moeen Ali answered England’s SOS call and came out of retirement after a back injury to Jack Leach ruled him out of the Ashes. However, Moeen doesn’t intend to continue playing Test cricket and confirmed his retirement once again at the end of the thrilling Ashes series.
BCCI announced the fixture list for the home season — which includes a five-match Test series between India and England starting January 2024 — on 25 July during the Ashes series.
India’s full home schedule for 2023-24
England coach Brendon McCullum did try to coax Moeen to be available but the spin-bowling all-rounder turned the request down.
“They knew from the start,” Moeen said, laughing. “Especially when those India venues came out! Baz asked me again when I had my day off on the second day. I said no. I’m not going [to India]. There’s no way I’m going. That’s me done. It’s nice to finish like this and be part of an amazing day”.
Moeen Ali has seen a fair share of ups and downs in his Test cricket career but he has been a consistent workhorse for England in the longest format.
Amongst his finest hours in Test cricket were his series against India in 2014 and South Africa in 2017. He picked up 19 and 25 wickets respectively, with both his six-fors in Test cricket coming in the two series. He also contributed vital runs with the bat. England were 3-1 victors on both occasions.
Reflecting on his decision to return for the Ashes, Moeen said that not returning when England needed him would have been a regret.
“Test cricket is the best cricket,” Moeen added. “I wish I could rewind time. Although my career has been a bit up and down, I wouldn’t change it. I’ve loved it. I would have regretted it later in life. It was quite daunting because I’ve never done well against Australia.
“I still don’t believe I’ve done that well, but it was great to finish like this. It was daunting, but I had nothing to lose, it was a free hit. I had a call from Baz and Stokesy, I felt like I was bowling alright, but the finger was the only issue. I wasn’t worried about the bowling.”