Moeen Ali will miss England training on Wednesday to receive his OBE… but admits he expects Australia to ‘target’ him and ‘could do a lot of errands’ after answering Ashes SOS appeal
Moeen Ali will miss Ashes training in England on Wednesday after just a day back in the Test fold and will instead rush to Windsor Castle to receive his OBE.
Moeen answered England’s SOS call when spinner Jack Leach suffered the injury in the win over Ireland and will be thrown straight into Friday’s first Test against Australia despite not having played no red ball cricket match for nearly two years.
But first, Moeen will travel to Windsor with his wife Firoza and parents Munir and Maqsood for a ceremony, potentially with King Charles, postponed from last year to this week because he believed there was a gap in his schedule. .
“I’ve been trying to book him for a while,” said Moeen, who was awarded the OBE for his services to cricket last year. “I haven’t really been able to get a date until now but I’m going anyway. I spoke to Baz (coach Brendon McCullum) and he said everything was fine.
“Mom and dad love it so I take them with my wife. I had to buy myself a new three-piece suit for the occasion and it’s going to be hot!
Moeen Ali will miss training in England on Wednesday as he will collect his OBE instead
Ali (left) was recalled to the Ashes squad on the cover of Jack Leach (not pictured)
Leach (pictured) suffered a stress fracture in his back during England’s test against Ireland
Not as warm, however, as the reception awaiting Moeen, who will turn 36 in the first Test, when he is sent back to the Cauldron of Ashes against an Australian side he has always struggled against in the past.
The all-rounder admitted he expected to be targeted by the old foe when he takes his place on his home turf in an Ashes Test for the first time since a disastrous performance in Game 1 of the 2019 series the led to it being dropped for the series.
“One hundred percent they will target me and if I was them I would do the same,” he said. “I think any spinner who entered would have been attacked.
I don’t expect them to defend themselves against me. I expect them to come after me which could be dangerous because Stokesey likes to have defenders on their feet. I could do a lot of shopping!
Moeen admitted Firoza had reservations about returning to Test cricket two years after retiring from the red ball game and less than a year after refusing a similar approach from McCullum to tour Pakistan, saying ” sorry, I’m done.”
But his father, who was such a huge influence on him, was strongly in favor of the emergency move and Moeen now wants to take advantage of this unexpected opportunity to become an Ashes winner for the second time after taking part in the 2015 triumph.
“My wife knew I didn’t like her that much towards the end of my Testing career,” Moeen said.
Ali admitted only Ben Stokes (right) could have persuaded him to come out of retirement
Most recently, he plied his trade in the IPL with the Chennai Super Kings
Ali’s last Test appearances were in England’s home Test series against India in 2021
As he was pictured in training this week, Ali admitted he expects ‘Australia to target him’
“That I was much happier with the way things were going and enjoying my cricket after concentrating on playing the white ball.” So she took a lot of conviction.
“The last thing I wanted was to say yes but not be properly into it with everything.
“So one thing I really want to make clear is that I’m going to try to give it my all.
‘More than before probably. And be an integral part of what could be a huge series. I want to be fully involved in this.