Moeen Ali comes out of Test retirement for Ashes

London: Veteran England all-rounder Moeen Ali has come out of his Test retirement to join the squad for the five-Test Ashes series against Australia beginning on June 16 at Edgbaston.

The 35-year-old had announced his Test retirement after the 2021 tour of India, saying that he ‘just felt like I was not in it’, having also lost a full contract sometime in 2019.

But England skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum convinced him to revisit his decision as the spin-bowling allrounder was on Wednesday replaced an injured Jack Leach in the squad.

Moeen made his test debut in 2014 and played his last test against India at the Oval in September 2021. He scored 2,914 runs in 64 tests at an average of 28.29, and picked up 195 wickets with his off-spin.

“We reached out to ‘Mo’ early this week about returning to test cricket. Having had a couple of days to reflect, Mo is excited to join the squad and play test cricket again,” Key said.

“His vast experience, along with his all-round ability, will benefit our Ashes campaign.”

Leach, who took four wickets in England’s win over Ireland in their warm-up test, has been ruled out of the five-test series against Australia due to a stress fracture in his back.

His injury is the latest setback to England’s bowling department in the build-up to the series, with fast bowler Jofra Archer also ruled out.

The Ashes gets under way at Edgbaston on June 16.