Moeen Ali says he’s excited at the prospect of lining up alongside Richard Gleeson and George Garton in a new-look Bears T20 bowling attack.

And the allrounder has revealed how he tried to sign both of his new England international teammates during his time as captain of Worcestershire.

Ali, who was heavily involved in player recruitment at New Road, said he was “pretty close” to luring Gleeson and Garton from Lancashire and Sussex, respectively.

He said: “They are two players I tried to sign when I was captain at Worcestershire a few years ago. Gleeson and Garton are top players, great guys and I knew they were the kinds of players I wanted to push us forward. They’d improve any side.

“They were pretty close to signing but we couldn’t quite get them over the line; they opted to stay at their counties. Better late than never, though, and I’m really glad they’re here now with the Bears and can’t wait to get going with them.

“The signings we’ve made have really strengthened us, We were a good side anyway but with the likes of Garts and Gleeson coming in it’ll take us to the next level. Both are at the top of their game. 

“Glees brings a lot of experience, great variety and skill. And Garts brings the whole package with his batting, bowling a fielding. I’m really excited to have these two players on board.”

Ali made four appearances for the Bears in last season’s Vitality Blast before his surprise international recall for the Ashes.

He’s in contention for England’s T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies in June but, even if selected in the squad, would be available for Bears six Vitality Blast games in July.

“I love playing here at Edgbaston,” he added. “Last year was difficult for me, only playing the four games before the Ashes. I feel like this year I can play more games, help get us to the knock out stages, and be part of a title winning side.”

Early Bird tickets are on sale now for all home Vitality Blast games this summer, but only a limited number now remain for some games including only 500 discounted tickets are left for the local derby against Worcestershire Rapids.