Moeen Ali has closed the door on an England Test recall as he revealed he will not tour Pakistan this winter despite ‘unretiring’ in the summer.
Writing exclusively in Sportsmail, Moeen says he will not be available for England’s trip, despite saying earlier in the year that he was excited by the direction of the team under captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.
Moeen, 35, said of the Pakistan tour: ‘That’s a trip I won’t be making sadly. It’s not something I’m keen on doing any more.
Moeen Ali has revealed he will not play test cricket for England after unretiring in the summer
‘I’ve had an honest chat with Baz (McCullum) and I can’t see myself being stuck in hotels for another month and playing to the best of my ability. Baz phoned me, we spoke at length and I said, “Sorry, I’m done”. He understands, he knows the feeling.
‘Watching the boys, I got the feeling this is how I’ve always wanted to play the game but the more I thought about it and discussed it with those close to me, I knew deep down why I was done.
‘Test cricket is hard work. I’m 35 and something’s got to give. I want to enjoy my cricket and it wouldn’t be fair to reverse my decision and then struggle to give it my all.
‘It’s time to close the door on that side of my career. To play 64 Tests for England has been a privilege and a dream fulfilled.’
I’m delighted with how we’ve played over the past fortnight. It’s been a brilliant series and I genuinely think we should have won five or six of the seven games, but that’s T20 cricket for you.
It’s a great learning curve for this squad as we go about that transition and into a World Cup.
We missed a couple of opportunities when we didn’t chase down some relatively low-ish totals both in Karachi and Lahore, but to win the series having been 3-2 down was great and a superb fightback.
Moeen Ali was in action for England’s T20 side in their latest tour against Pakistan
Again you can see our strength in depth – winning a series while making so many changes for each game shows how players just come in and out almost seamlessly. I think that’s a huge plus.
We’ve had some real positives – the return of Mark Wood and Chris Woakes after a long time away with injuries and we’ve bowled well as a unit on what were batting-friendly surfaces against players who know the conditions.
Every man has made his contributions. The way Phil Salt played the other night isn’t easy, especially after some low scores, but he showed what he was all about again. We know how devastating Salty can be and Dawid Malan was awesome on Sunday.
We’ve got plenty of high-quality options at the top of the order and our middle order has done a terrific job. Ben Duckett and Harry Brook have been outstanding throughout. Both are proper players.
Duckett’s such a good player to watch and I’ve not been surprised at all. He’s brilliant facing spin and even against the seamers. He plays freely and we’ve seen his class this series. Brooky has shown everyone why he’s going to be a star and I’d be very surprised if both don’t return for the Test tour in December.
Ali spoke to Brendan McCullum (pictured right) to say that he is ‘done’ with Test cricket
That’s a trip I won’t be making sadly. It’s not something I’m keen on doing any more to be honest. In fact, I don’t think I can.
I’ve had an honest chat with Baz (Test coach Brendon McCullum) about the tour and I really can’t see myself being stuck in hotels for another month and playing Test cricket to the best of my ability.
Baz phoned me and we spoke at length and I just said, ‘Nah, sorry, I’m done’ and he understands. He knows the feeling. Yes, I said I was ‘unretired’ in the summer and watching the boys, I got the feeling I properly miss this and that this is how I’ve always wanted to play the game.
But the more I thought about it and discussed with those close to me, I knew deep down why I was done. Test cricket is hard work. I don’t think my mindset would be any different even if the restrictions were lifted in Pakistan. I’m 35 now and something’s got to give.
I want to enjoy my cricket and it wouldn’t be fair to reverse my decision and then struggle to give it my all. With the hectic limited-overs schedule and the franchise leagues I’ve committed to, any opportunity to spend time with my family is precious.
Anyways, it’s good to see the boys doing so well and I’m sure it will be a great spectacle, just like this series, and a really exciting challenge for the lads when they come for the Tests.
But for me, it’s time to close the door on that side of my career. To play 64 Test matches for England has been a privilege and a dream fulfilled.
Aliis hopeful he can help England win the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year
Now it’s time to hopefully add to our 2019 ODI World Cup success with a T20 world title of our own.
We go to Australia now and we’re looking forward to getting out of the hotel for sure! The security’s been brilliant in Pakistan but very tough on the lads and it’s been a case of trying to kill time in between the games.
Liam Dawson is probably the best FIFA player in the squad. The football international break came at the wrong time as watching the Premier League is always a good laugh on tour, but I can’t say watching my side Liverpool has been much fun at the moment. We’ve forgotten how to win!
I’ve enjoyed leading England on this special trip but I’m looking forward to Jos (Buttler) coming back as skipper for the World Cup. Captaincy is an honour and I’ve loved it but there’s a lot of things you have to do away from the game. We’re certainly not favourites going Down Under but I’m sure sides will fear us and know how dangerous we can be.