Moeen Ali shuts the door on the return of Test cricket

Moeen Ali has ruled out a return to Test cricket for England’s forthcoming tour of Pakistan.

The all-rounder retired from international red ball cricket last year but hinted over the summer he would consider reversing that decision following preliminary talks with Brendon McCullum.

But Ali, 35, has now confirmed he has withdrawn from testing for December’s three series of tests after further talks with the England men’s Test head coach.

“I had an honest conversation with Baz [McCullum] and I can’t imagine being stuck in hotels for another month doing my best.” Ali wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.

“Baz called me, we had a long chat and I said, ‘Sorry, I’m done.’ He understands, he knows the feeling. Test cricket is hard work. I’m 35 and I have to give something.

“I want to enjoy my cricket. It wouldn’t be fair to reverse my decision and then fight to give it my all. It’s time to close the door on this side of my career. Playing 64 Tests for England was a privilege and a dream come true.”

Ali led England’s T20 side in the absence of Jos Buttler for the seven-game series in Lahore and Karachi.

Matthew Mott’s side have now landed in Australia to begin preparations for the T20 World Championship later this month.

England meet Australia in a three-game series ahead of their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan on October 22.

“We’re really happy to win this series and we’re going to Australia in a really good position, but I don’t think we’re favorites for the World Cup,” Moeen said after England’s 4-3 series win over Pakistan had completed .

“If I’m honest I don’t feel that way at all but I know we’re a very dangerous team and other teams will be scared to play against us. But I still think Australia and India are the two favourites.”

Moeen was England’s reserve skipper for their recent T20 tour of Pakistan

(Getty Images)

The all-rounder’s withdrawal from the Test fight is a blow to McCullum’s spinning resources ahead of his first away tour in charge of England.

Although spinners in Pakistan have been struggling for potency of late, England are likely to include at least two in their starting XI.

Jack Leach will remain as the lead spinner, while Matt Parkinson also made an appearance as a concussion substitute during the home testing summer.

Hampshire all-rounder Liam Dawson could be recalled after another solid domestic season, while colleague Liam Patterson-White – who represented England Lions against South Africa in August – also offers bat and ball skills. Off-spinner Dom Bess could also be considered after making his final Test appearance in India last year.

England meet Pakistan in Rawalpindi (December 1-5), Multan (December 9-13) and Karachi (December 17-21) in their first Test tour of the country since 2005.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cricket/moeen-ali-england-test-cricket-brendon-mccullum-b2194390.html Moeen Ali shuts the door on the return of Test cricket

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