England all-rounder Moeen Ali has confirmed that he was retiring from Test cricket at the end of the dramatic Ashes 2023, which the hosts managed to draw 2-2 with a thrilling win in the fifth Test at The Oval as well. Moeen, 36, came out of retirement to play in the series after lead spinner Jack Leach was ruled out with a stress fracture of the back as well. He missed the Lord’s Test with a finger injury but played in the other four Tests as well, taking his tally to 68 and finishing with 9 wickets and 180 runs as well.
“I know I’m done,” Moeen told Sky Sports after the win at The Oval. “If Stokesy [Ben Stokes] messages me again then I’m going to delete it. That’s me done. ‘I think I really enjoyed it and it’s great to finish like that.”
However, Moeen was a vital cog in England’s wheel in the final three Tests of the series that saw the hosts return from a 0-2 loss. He removed Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith at Headingley and then moved up to bat at No.3 to fill also. There he scored a vital half-century in Manchester, a Test England dominated but failed to win because of bad weather.
“As soon as it left my hand, I knew it was a decent ball on this wicket. The period of four overs, four wickets, was amazing. It lifted everybody in the whole ground. It was so loud – an amazing atmosphere,” Moeen Ali told the Test Match Special. “It feels amazing. To come back was a little bit daunting actually, because I’ve never played that well against Australia. It was one of those things where, when Stokesy asked me, I thought, ‘why not? I’m going to go into a brilliant side and I still believe I can do alright’.
“I’m so glad I came back and said yes. Just from the first day I came into the changing room [under] Baz and Stokesy, to play again and be part of this team with Jimmy and Broady, these guys, when I started they were there. It’s been amazing. I’m chuffed that I can finish with a win against Australia and play a little bit of a helping hand. I’ve had a good run and I’ve really enjoyed playing Test cricket for England and representing everybody in this country,” Moeen Ali concluded.