England allrounder Moeen Ali has announced his retirement from Test cricket, the ECB confirmed on Monday (September 27). However, the 34-year-old will continue playing white-ball cricket for the national side.
“I’m 34 now and I want to play for as long as I can and I just want to enjoy my cricket,” Moeen said. “Test cricket is amazing, when you’re having a good day it’s better than any other format by far, it’s more rewarding and you feel like you’ve really earnt it.
“I will miss just walking out there with the lads, playing against best in the world with that feeling of nerves but also from a bowling point of view, knowing with my best ball I could get anyone out. I’ve enjoyed Test Cricket but that intensity can be too much sometimes and I feel like I’ve done enough of it and I’m happy and content with how I’ve done.”
Moeen, who has more often than not played as England’s leading spin option in Tests over the years, made his debut in the format in 2014 against Sri Lanka at Lord’s. Even though he scored a century in just his second Test, Moeen still finished with a modest average of 28.29 with the bat. 2016 turned out to be a memorable year for the left-hander as he added four more tons to his tally.
Even though he didn’t reach three figures again in his career, Moeen continued to be effective with the ball. He picked up a hat-trick against South Africa in the home series in 2017 and was named player of the series after picking up 25 wickets. In 2019, he was omitted from England’s list of centrally contracted Test players following which he took a break from Test cricket.
After 18 months, he was back on the park again in whites against India in Chennai and even though he made a successful return picking up eight wickets, England lost the Test match and Moeen was sent home by the ECB to manage his workload. He finally featured in a Test match in England after two years when the selectors recalled him in the absence of allrounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes. His final Test appearance came against India at The Oval earlier this month.
In 64 Tests, Moeen has made 2914 runs and picked up 195 wickets, falling just short of becoming only the 15th player overall to achieve a double of 3000 runs and 200 wickets in the format.