Moeen out of retirement; to join England’s Ashes squad


All-rounder Moeen Ali has come out of Test retirement to join the England squad for the first two of the five Ashes Tests against Australia.

Moeen replaces spinner Jack Leach, who misses the series after suffering a stress fracture in his back.

He reversed his decision after being approached by England captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.

The 35-year-old said he found the Test format “really difficult to get into” when he retired in September 2021.

Rob Key, managing director of England men’s cricket, said: “We reached out to Mo early this week about returning to Test cricket. Having had a couple of days to reflect, Mo is excited to join the squad and play Test cricket again. His vast experience, along with his all-round ability, will benefit our Ashes campaign.

“We wish Mo and the rest of the squad well for the Ashes campaign.”

Moeen, who will turn 36 during the first Test at Edgbaston, has played 64 Tests for England, scoring 2,914 runs and taking 195 wickets.

The off-spinner has a mixed record against Australia, taking 20 wickets in 11 Tests, at an average of 64.65, and scoring 476 runs, at 25.05.

Moeen may come straight into the team for Leach, and will add depth to England’s batting, with him likely to bat at eight.

Stokes and McCullum also have the option of going with an all-pace attack for Edgbaston, with the Test beginning on June 16.

England squad for first two Ashes Tests: Ben Stokes (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Josh Tongue, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood. (BBC Sport)

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