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Journalism of Courage

I suppose I am officially unretired (from Test cricket): Moeen Ali 

Moeen Ali is set to take a U-turn following a conversation with England's new head coach Brendon McCullum.

ind vs engMoeen Ali has scored 2,914 runs in 64 Tests with five centuries and picked up 195 wickets. (Source: BCCI)

Moeen Ali called it quits on his Test career back in September 2021. It took less than a year for him to ‘officially’ take a U-turn. The England all-rounder said on air during the third day of the second England-New Zealand Test that he has had a positive conversation on the subject with the new England head coach, Brendon McCullum.

“I spoke to McCullum this morning, and we did discuss Pakistan (tour) 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.”

Moeen is currently working with the BBC Comms team for the Test series in England and had earlier during the Trent Bridge Test indicated of his desire to tour with England to Pakistan.

“When, or if, Baz McCullum wants me, I’ll definitely play in Pakistan,”Moeen said on BBC Test Match Special this Saturday.

“I have played Pakistan Super League out there a few years ago but it’s not the same. 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.”

On-air dialogue with Alastair Cook on their heated argument

It was also during the second Test that Moeen had an on-air exchange with the former England captain Alastair Cook regarding his remarks on the latter’s captaincy earlier this year. 


During the Ashes, on a show with BT Sport, Moeen Ali had said that Joe Root was more empathetic towards his players than the former England captain. This had led to Cook asking Moeen if he was criticizing his captaincy to which Moeen responded by saying ‘a little bit’.

Appearing on the television together for the first time since Ashes, the duo had a brief talk around the incident on the BBC commentary.

The former left-handed England batter started the conversation by saying, “I was coming back from a holiday, walking straight back to the studio at midnight.”

“I met the all-smiling Mo (Moeen), as he always is, very happy. Anyway, half an hour into the shift, he basically told everyone who is watching and listening, ‘I wasn’t a very good captain and I wouldn’t be a very good coach’. That’s kind of how it went. So I actually feel as if I have nothing to defend here.” 

Moeen then clarified his comments. 

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“It was a little bit out of context. I was saying basically that Rooty had a lot more empathy for players than you did! And I never mentioned once that you’re not a good captain or if you are or aren’t better than Rooty. And then, you took it personally to heart and it went viral,” he said.

First published on: 13-06-2022 at 02:33:09 pm
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