Moeen Ali confirms reversal of Test retirement ahead of Pakistan tour

Moeen Ali confirms reversal of Test retirement ahead of Pakistan tour
Moeen Ali has confirmed his willingness to return to Test cricket for this winter’s tour of Pakistan, and has announced that he is officially “unretired” following a conversation on Sunday morning with England’s new head coach, Brendon McCullum.
Moeen called time on his Test career in September, after claiming 195 wickets in 64 Tests, as well as five centuries, telling ESPNcricinfo at the time that he no longer felt able to “get in the zone” in the longest format of the game.

However, McCullum’s arrival has indicated a new more attacking mindset to England’s Test cricket, and Moeen – who leaves for the Netherlands this evening ahead of next week’s three-match ODI series – says his hunger for the longer format has been renewed.

“When, or if, Baz McCullum wants me, I’ll definitely play in Pakistan,” Moeen told BBC Test Match Special on Saturday, adding that his family heritage in the country made the trip – England’s first since 2005, when his cousin Kabir Ali was part of the white-ball squad – all the more tempting.

“I have played Pakistan Super League out there a few years ago but it’s not the same,” Moeen said. “To travel with an England side there having family background from that part of the world will be amazing. It would be a historic event because of England not touring there for so many years.

“I know the support and love you can get out there, they love cricket. It’s really something that’s very appealing for sure.”

Moeen had added during his comments on Saturday that McCullum was “very hard to say no to”, and “we’re going to have a chat and see how it pans out”.

Following up on the subject during Sunday’s third day at Trent Bridge, Moeen confirmed that that conversation had now taken place.

“I spoke to McCullum this morning, and we did discuss Pakistan this winter. The door is always open, and yeah, I suppose I am officially unretired,” he said.

“He is a very difficult person to say no to. I find that very, very hard. He is very convincing and to be honest I would love to play under him and Ben Stokes. They are both very aggressive and I think I would suit their cricket a bit more.

“At the time I said I was retired I felt like I was done. I felt really tired with cricket.”

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