Moeen Ali has confirmed his retirement from Test cricket after helping England earn a 2-2 draw in The Ashes.
Off-spinning all-rounder Moeen took three wickets on the final day at The Kia Oval as England beat Australia by 49 runs.
The 36-year-old was lured out of his initial Test retirement by captain Ben Stokes ahead of the series following the back injury suffered by fellow spinner Jack Leach, but will not be extending his comeback.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Moeen – who ends his Test career with 3,094 runs and 204 wickets – said: “I know I’m done.
“If Stokesy messages me again, I am going to delete it! I have enjoyed it and it is great to finish on a high.
“It was great to come back. When Stokesy messaged me I was a little taken aback but when I said yes I was fully into it.
“I have loved it, it has been an amazing experience to play under Stokesy and Baz [England coach Brendon McCullum], one I will never forget for the rest of my life. I am so glad I said yes.”
Moeen had not played a red-ball game in almost two years when he answered England’s SOS.
He went on to score 180 runs in four Tests, including a half-century at Emirates Old Trafford after asking to be promoted to No 3, and claim nine wickets.
‘Moeen an incredible character – he produced one of his best days’
England coach Brendon McCullum said: “Mo is an incredible character within the dressing room. He has got a real ability to lift the spirits of the other guys. I think we have seen him in this series play without the pressure of the past.
“What he did in this Test match, and by putting his hand up to bat at No 3 and take pressure off other guys, was the mark of what he is like as a human being. He is a great cricketer.”
Stokes added: “A few things were said about Mo but I chose him because I know what he can do on his best days.
“When it really mattered he produced one of his best days. He changed the game for us. For him to do what he has done is just incredible. He has been a great servant to England.”
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Moeen remains part of England’s white-ball squads and will hope to play a big role in the 50-over World Cup in India this autumn as his side look to defend the title they won on home soil in 2019.
England’s next Test action is in India, too, with a five-match series to be held across January and March 2024.
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