Moeen Ali: Joe Root praises ‘underappreciated’ England all-rounder after Test retirement

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Moeen Ali: Joe Root praises ‘underappreciated’ England all-rounder after Test retirement
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England captain Joe Root has heaped praise upon Moeen Ali, who announced his retirement from Test cricket on Monday.

Moeen bows out having played 64 Tests, 27 of them under the leadership of Root, who described him as “underappreciated outside the dressing room”, and “a wonderful role model” who has “done fabulous things” in Test cricket and leaves a “legacy”.

Moeen will continue to play white-ball cricket for England, and in T20 competitions around the globe.

“He’s done some wonderful things in Test cricket,” said Root. “He’s been one of the great guys to play alongside. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sharing that dressing room with him and we’ve had so many wonderful memories, on the field and off the field.

“I think at times he has been underappreciated. Not within the dressing room but outside of that. He’ll be a huge loss. He’s a great personality to have in and around the dressing room, and he’s a great brain for younger players to learn from and to feed off.

Moeen Ali was captained by Joe Root in 27 Test matches for England (Rex Features)
Moeen Ali was captained by Joe Root in 27 Test matches for England (Rex Features)

“I just wish him every success in everything he chooses to do from now. Hopefully there’s a lot of cricket I can still get to play with him in the ODI side with England as well.

“He’s been a wonderful role model. I really hope that off the back of what he has done and achieved in Test cricket there will be so many young boys and girls out there that will be wanting to follow in his footsteps because, as I say, he’s done fabulous things. The way he holds himself, the way he carries himself, the way he goes about things is fantastic. He leaves a legacy.”

Moeen has been in and out of England’s side since 2018, the second summer of Root’s captaincy, and played just five Tests in the last two years. Root admitted that perhaps there were things England’s management could have done differently if they had their time again.

“There are a number of things I’ll look back on when I’m finished as captain - I could look back on with regret that I could have done slightly differently,” he said.

“The one thing I will say is when Mo has played, he’s been brilliant. You look at the amount of games he has affected, the amount of special moments he has had on a cricket field in the Test match format has been exceptional. I’ll certainly remember a lot of amazing things that he has achieved.

“Of course, there might have been times we could have done things slightly differently, but I could say that about a lot of things.”

Root was unaware that Moeen was considering retirement when he was recalled to Test cricket three Tests into this summer.

“I didn’t at the time, no,” he said. “I’ve spoken to him in the past week and the way he has dealt with it has been, as you’d expect, first class. But as I mentioned, he’ll be a huge loss to the group for so many different reasons.

“More than anything I just want to wish him well for everything he has got coming up and the rest of his career because he’s still going to go on and achieve so many great things, I’m certain of it.”

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Moeen Ali: England all-rounder announces retirement from Test cricket

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