In the Queen’s Birthday Honours, Moeen Ali was given an OBE for services to cricket, and he has admitted that “the door is open” for a comeback to Test cricket under Brendon McCullum’s new England regime.
Moeen Ali, 34, withdrew from Test cricket last summer after taking 195 wickets in 64 games and scoring 2914 runs at 28.29, including five tons. He is still an important part of England’s white-ball setup, having been a member of the World Cup-winning side in 2019 and serving as the stand-in captain in their most recent series in the Caribbean.
However, in an interview with The Guardian and PA Media, Moeen Ali acknowledged that his award is a reflection of his role-model status among the British Asian community, which is under-represented in the national team, having progressed from community cricket in Birmingham’s Sparkhill Park to over 200 appearances for his country across multiple formats.
“It’s definitely an honor, and the more you think about it, the nicer it becomes and the more fulfilling it becomes,” Moeen added. “Above all, I know it makes my parents happy, which is the most crucial factor – and one of the primary reasons for accepting. It’s amazing and my family are really proud and happy.
“I think it’s more about the journey I’ve been on, my background, my upbringing, and all that,” he added. “Maybe the way I played a little bit and the way I go about my cricket, maybe that’s what people have liked or whatever.
“From the word go, as soon as I played for England, people labeled me as being a potential role model. It is a big responsibility because you don’t want to let people down. But then as time has gone on, you kind of accept it and deal with it a lot better. You kind of do inspire a lot of people, especially from the inner city.”
Moeen’s career owes a great deal to his father Munir, who also aided in the development of his cousin Kabir Ali into an England cricketer, as well as his mother Maqsood’s affection and support. He also expressed his delight at becoming a “medal on their breast.”
“I know if it wasn’t for them, that there’s no way any of us would have made it in any sort of cricketing capacity or had the strength to carry on at times. They made a huge effort and sacrificed their own lives in certain ways for us to make it,” Moeen added.
He also admitted that he has been intrigued by the appointment of McCullum as England’s Test team’s Head Coach & added that he would possibly feature in the longest format of cricket as he loves McCullum’s way of working & would love to play under his guidance.
“Baz [McCullum] messaged me asking if I was ‘in’,” he said. “I have played with him in the Indian Premier League and really enjoyed the way he works. We spoke and he mentioned potentially, in the future, if there is a tour – or whenever, really – would I be available? I said ‘call me at the time’. We’ll see,” Moeen concluded.
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