‘Door open’ for Test return, says England’s Moeen Ali

LONDON: All-rounder Moeen Ali said he is open to playing Test cricket again under new England coach Brendon McCullum. The 34-year-old quit the long format last year with 2,914 runs and 195 wickets from 64 Tests but still plays an important role in England’s limited-overs sides. Moeen said McCullum, who was put in charge of the Test team last month, had sounded him out about a potential red-ball return.

“Baz (McCullum) messaged me asking if I was ‘in’,” Moeen was quoted as saying by the Guardian newspaper after being awarded an OBE for his services to cricket.

“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.

“The door is open,” added the Worcestershire player. England begin a new era under McCullum and new Test captain Ben Stokes later on Thursday when their three-Test series against New Zealand gets underway at Lord’s. Moeen said he was looking forward to see what happens with England under the new leadership.

“And even though it’s sad Chris Silverwood went as head coach and Root stepped down as captain, it’s always exciting when there is a new chapter.”