England all-rounder Moeen Ali has announced his retirement from Test cricket, saying he hopes his achievements can inspire other British Muslims to play for their country.
Ali, 34, scored 2,914 runs in 64 matches at an average of 28.29 and picked up 195 wickets with his off-spin after making his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2014.
He now intends to specialise in white-ball cricket, which has been his primary focus since losing a central contract with the English Cricket Board (ECB) in 2019.
“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 earned it,” Ali said in a statement.
“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.”
6⃣4⃣ Test matches
Countless memories ❤️#ThankYouMo 👏
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 27, 2021
Ali also said that he hoped his Test career would “open the door” for other British Muslims to play for England, citing the influence of former South Africa batter Hashim Amla’s career on his own development.
“It always takes somebody to inspire you or takes somebody to think if he can do it I can and I hope there are a few people out there who are thinking that,” he said.
“I know he wasn’t English but someone like Hashim Amla, when I first saw him, I thought if he can do it I can do it, it does take that little spark.
“I’d love one day in 8-10 years’ time [for someone] to say, ‘Moeen made it easier for me’. There have been guys before me who made it easier, so you hope to open the door for someone else.”
Ali, who has also played 112 one-day internationals and 38 T20s, thanked his coaches, captains and family for their support.
“My parents are my number one, I feel without their support there is no way I would have made it, every game I played was for them and I know they are really proud of me,” Ali said.
“My brothers and my sister, on my bad days they’ve been the first to pick me up and my wife and kids, my wife’s sacrifices and the patience she has, I am really grateful for that.
“They have all been amazing on my journey, everything I did I did for them.”
Ali is currently competing for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.
He has been named in England’s preliminary squad for this year’s T20 World Cup, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates and Oman beginning on October 17.