However, after leading England to a 4-3 win in the T20I series in Pakistan a few days ago, captaining the injured Jos Buttler, Moeen used his newspaper column to confirm he would not return for the December tests. .
“That’s a journey I won’t be taking unfortunately,” he wrote. “It’s not something I’m interested in anymore.
“I had an honest conversation with Baz [McCullum] about the tour and I really don’t see myself stuck in hotels for another month playing test cricket to the best of my ability.
“Baz called me and we talked for a long time and I just said, ‘No, sorry, I’m done’ and he understands. He knows the feeling. Yes, I said I was ‘not retired’ in the summer and to the guys looked, I got the feeling that I’m quite missing this and that this is how I’ve always wanted to play the game.
“But the more I thought about it and discussed it with my loved ones, I knew deep down why I was ready. Test cricket is hard work. I don’t think my way of thinking would be different, even if the restrictions were lifted in Pakistan. I’m 35 now and I have to give something.”
England’s players were given presidential security levels on tour, their first to Pakistan since 2005-06, and rarely left their hotel complexes in Karachi and Lahore.
“I want to enjoy my cricket and it wouldn’t be fair to reverse my decision and then struggle to give it my all,” Moeen said. “With the hectic limited sailing schedule and franchise leagues I’ve become involved in, every opportunity to spend time with my family is precious.
Anyway, it’s good to see the guys doing so well and I’m sure it’s going to be a great spectacle, just like this series, and a really exciting challenge for the guys when they get to the tests.
“But for me it’s time to close the door on that side of my career. Playing 64 Test matches for England was a privilege and a dream come true.”