Moeen 'officially unretired' as spinner eyes England Test return

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Moeen Ali has confirmed he has "officially unretired" and is available for the England Test side after a conversation with coach Brendon McCullum.

Moeen announced his retirement from the five-day game last September after struggling to maintain focus in red-ball outings and enjoying shorter-format cricket.

The 34-year-old mustered 2,914 Test runs at an average of 28.3 and collected 195 wickets at 36.7, including a hat-trick against South Africa at The Oval in 2017.

Only James Anderson and Stuart Broad managed more Test wickets for England during Moeen's time in the side, while the off-spinner ranked 12th for dismissals in the world in that same period.

Stokes has since been appointed captain as the successor to Joe Root, partnering with coach McCullum, who replaced Chris Silverwood after his dismissal.

That had led to suggestions of a potential Test return for white-ball star Jos Buttler and also Moeen, who acknowledged on Saturday he would be open to the idea of featuring again, adding "never say never".

Moeen then followed that up on Sunday by confirming, after a conversation with McCullum, he is available for selection as he eyes the Pakistan Test tour for a three-match series in September.

Moeen Ali's Test career
Moeen Ali's Test career

"I spoke to McCullum this morning, and we did discuss Pakistan this winter," he said on BBC's Test Match Special. "The door is always open, and yeah, I suppose I am officially unretired.

"He is a very difficult person to say no to. I find that very, very hard. He is very convincing and to be honest I would love to play under him and Ben Stokes.

"They are both very aggressive and I think I would suit their cricket a bit more. At the time I said I was retired I felt like I was done. I felt really tired with cricket."

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