England all-rounder Moeen Ali still wants to play test cricket for England after conceding he had lost the hunger for the five-day game. Photo: IANS
England all-rounder Moeen Ali still wants to play test cricket for England after conceding he had lost the hunger for the five-day game. Photo: IANS

Moeen Ali still yearns for test cricket as England announces packed summer schedule

By Reuters Time of article published Nov 18, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - Moeen Ali still wants to play test cricket for England after conceding he had lost the hunger for the five-day game, but is desperate to feature in The Ashes against Australia next year.

The spinning all-rounder lost his place in the test side after recording match figures of 3/172 against the Australians in Birmingham last year, a game the tourists won by a massive 251 runs.

Ali, 33, bore the brunt of that defeat, and said test cricket lost some of its appeal as a result.

"A year-and-a-half ago I lost that hunger to play test cricket, but I feel like over the last six months it is coming back," Ali told reporters on Wednesday.

"I have been thinking a lot about my game and if the call did come, I would be keen on it. I have not retired or anything, but probably have just taken a step back from the test game."

Ali took five wickets at an average of 115 in the 2017-18 Ashes series in Australia, which began to sow the seeds of doubt on his position, and admits he could have been better prepared for the contest.

"I went there on the back of being in some of my best form for England," he said. "I was confident, but I probably didn't do as much planning as I should have and could have."

The all-rounder has 181 test wickets and 2,782 runs, including five centuries, but for now is concentrating on the shortest format with two Twenty20 World Cups in the next two years.

He is currently with the England team in South Africa for a six-match limited overs tour that starts on Nov. 27.

"There is an opportunity to be one of the greatest sides ever and to be part of that is something I would like to do," he said.

"I must just play as much cricket as I can and play as best as I can."

Meanwhile, the England Cricket Board on Wednesday announced a packed schedule of international cricket to be staged at grounds across England and Wales next year.

A five-Test series against India is planned to headline the men’s international summer, following a Royal London Series against Sri Lanka and a Royal London Series and Vitality IT20 Series against Pakistan.

The ECB also announced that England are set to host Pakistan after they played matches behind closed doors in England this summer.

Royal London Series

Thursday 8 July, 1st ODI, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

Saturday 10 July, 2nd ODI, Lord’s

Tuesday 13 July, 3rd ODI, Edgbaston

Vitality IT20 Series

Friday 16 July, 1st IT20, Trent Bridge

Sunday 18 July, 2nd IT20, Emerald Headingley

Tuesday 20 July, 3rd IT20, Emirates Old Trafford

Reuters

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