‘Sorry, I’m done’ – Moeen Ali closes door on possible return to Test cricket

Moeen Ali has ruled out playing Test cricket for England in the future, despite briefly considering a return under Brendon McCullum in the summer.

The Worcestershire all-rounder had announced his retirement from the game’s longest format in September 2021 to focus on other aspects of his career, but said in June that the door remained open.

This winter’s Test trip to Pakistan had seemed an attractive option for the 35-year-old, given his family’s links to the country and England’s likely need for additional spin bowling options, but he has told the Daily Mail: “That’s a trip I won’t be making, sadly. It’s not something I’m keen on doing any more.

“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.

Ali's last Test appearance was against India in September 2021
Moeen Ali’s last Test appearance was against India in September 2021 (Nigel French/PA)

“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.”

Moeen finished his Test career with 195 Test wickets and 2,914 runs after 64 appearances over seven years.

Like Moeen, Adil Rashid was linked with a return under McCullum’s leadership, but he indicated in July that it would not be happening due to concerns over a long-standing shoulder issue.