LONDON: England all-rounder Moeen Ali on Monday announced he was retiring from Test cricket to specialise in his white-ball career, saying the format’s ‘intensity are often an excessive amount of sometimes’.
The 34-year-old scored five centuries and took 195 wickets in 64 Tests, including a top score of 155 not out and five five-wicket hauls.
But Moeen felt he needed to abandon cricket’s longest format to prolong his career and rekindle his love for the sport .
“I want to play for as long as I can and just want to enjoy my cricket,” he said. “Test cricket is amazing. When you’re having an honest day it’s better than the other format far and away .
“I will miss playing against the simplest within the world thereupon feeling of nerves but also knowing with my best ball I could get anyone out.
“It always takes somebody to inspire you … i do know he wasn’t English but someone like [former South Africa batter] Hashim Amla, once I first saw him, i assumed if he can roll in the hay I can roll in the hay , it does take that tiny spark.
“I’ve enjoyed Test cricket but that intensity are often an excessive amount of sometimes. I desire I’ve done enough of it and I’m proud of how I’ve done.”
Moeen began his Test career batting at number six and offering part-time off-spin, scoring a maiden Test century against Sri Lanka at Headingley in 2014.
But his role changed as his improved bowling led England’s management to prioritise his off-spin and move him round the batting line-up from opener to number nine.
Moeen finished with 2,914 Test runs at a mean of 28.29 but regretted not being more productive with the bat. “I do desire my batting was a touch bit wasted.”
He was named player-of-the-series in England’s 3-1 series win against South Africa in 2017, becoming the primary cricketer to require 25 wickets and score quite 250 runs during a four-match series.
A key member of the britain white ball team that won the 2019 ODI World Cup , Moeen played only one Test within the subsequent Ashes series and lost his central contract.
He made 35 runs and claimed two wickets as vice-captain in his final Test against India at The Oval earlier this month.
In an interview with the Guardian and ESPNCricinfo, Moeen said he was struggling to specialize in Test cricket and now intends to specialise in white-ball cricket.
“During the India series I felt like i used to be done, to be honest,” he said. “I felt good, the atmosphere felt good, the room etc, but cricketing-wise, I found it a struggle to urge within the zone bowling and batting and within the field. and therefore the more i attempted , I just couldn’t roll in the hay .”
Moeen has been credited with inspiring Britain’s minority ethnic communities as a practising Muslim sporting an extended , bushy beard.
He became the primary British Asian since Nasser Hussain in 2003 to captain an England team when he skippered the Twenty20 side against Australia last year.
“There was a much bigger purpose on behalf of me than simply batting and bowling. There was a purpose of trying to inspire others,” he added. “It does take a touch spark and hopefully I’ve as long as . I’d love at some point , in 10 years’ time, somebody to mention , ‘Moeen made it easier for me’.”