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“If Baz McCullum wants me, I’ll definitely play in Pakistan”: Moeen Ali open to come out of Test retirement at Brendon McCullum’s behest

Dixit Bhargav
|Sat Jun 11 2022


Moeen Ali open to come out of Test retirement: The English all-rounder has confirmed availability for a Test return.

It was in October 2020 that there were reports of England playing a three-match T20I series in Pakistan in January 2021. By November 2020, England were scheduled to play two T20Is in Pakistan in October 2021.

A consequence of New Zealand abandoning their tour of Pakistan minutes before the first ODI in Rawalpindi in September 2021 resulted in England also backing out of their Pakistan tour.

However, wanting to compensate PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) for their losses, ECB (England Cricket Board) had confirmed a seven-match T20I series in Pakistan this year. As the situation improved between both the boards, a couple of Test matches were also added to the tour. While the T20Is will be played before the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, the Tests will follow the world event.

England all-rounder Moeen Ali used the terms “amazing”, “massive” and “appealing” to explain the prospect of England playing international cricket in Pakistan after as many as 16 years.

“I have played PSL (Pakistan Super League) over there 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 would be amazing.

“I know the support and love you can get out there and they are massive cricket fans. It’ll be massive, very appealing,” Ali told former England players Sir Alastair Cook and Isa Guha while calling the ongoing England vs New Zealand second Test in Nottingham for BBC.

Ali, 34, had represented Multan Sultans in PSL 2022 scoring 138 runs in nine innings at an average and strike rate of 17.25 and 130.19 respectively. In six bowling innings, Ali’s five wickets had come at an average of 22, an economy rate of 10 and a strike rate of 13.20.

Moeen Ali open to come out of Test retirement at Brendon McCullum’s behest

Ali, who had retired from Test cricket following India’s tour of England last year in a bid to extend his white-ball career, is in talks with England Test head coach Brendon McCullum over a possible Test comeback.

Throwing light on the same, Ali didn’t mince his words while admitting that he finds it “really hard” to say no to McCullum. Hence, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Ali returns to Test cricket despite having not played a first-class match since his retirement.

“I’m saying when or if Baz [Brendon] McCullum wants me, I’ll definitely play in Pakistan. At the time I retired [from Test cricket], I felt like I was done. I just fell really tired,” Ali added.

“A bit like you [Sir Alastair Cook]. When you retired, you mentally felt like you were done. But you scored a hundred [in] last game [against India in 2018] and could’ve carried on for many years. And this guy [Brendon McCullum], I find him really hard to say no to. So, he scared me a little bit. We’ve got to see how it pans out.”


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