Performance Director Gavin Larsen has congratulated Moeen Ali on his unexpected recall to the England Test side after the Club’s T20 captain agreed to come out of international retirement for this summer’s Ashes.
Ali – who called time on his 64-Test red ball career two years ago – was offered the chance to return to the international fold after spinner Jack Leach was diagnosed with a stress fracture to his back.
And last night the 35-year-old – who signed a three-year deal with the Bears last year – informed the Club and the ECB of his decision.
Ali is still expected to captain the Bears in Vitality Blast action tonight (7 June) at home to the Derbyshire Falcons and is also available for Friday night’s home clash with Northants Steelbacks.
But he will team up with the England camp at the weekend and is expected to miss the remainder of the Blast season.
Larsen – who played 129 times for New Zealand – understands the lure of England is a hard one to turn down but said he accepts some Bears’ fans will be disappointed at the move.
“It’s the Ashes, the biggest stage in world cricket,” said Larsen, “and with that first Test on home soil here at Edgbaston. That’s a heady mix and one that would be hard for anyone to say no to.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for Mo and as a Club we wish him well. We’ve got him for two more games in the Blast and we’re hoping he’ll go out on a high.
“I know fans were looking forward to having a player of Mo’s quality and stature leading our T20 push for the whole season – but I hope, like me, they can appreciate why Mo has made this decision.”
Ali reversed his decision following discussions with Test Captain Ben Stokes, Test Head Coach Brendon McCullum and Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket Rob Key.
He’s has scored 2,914 Test runs and has 195 wickets at Test level. He will celebrate his 36th birthday during the first Test at Edgbaston on 18 June.
Rob Key, Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, said: “We reached out to Mo early this week about returning to Test cricket. Having had a couple of days to reflect, Mo is excited to join the squad and play Test cricket again. His vast experience, along with his all-round ability, will benefit our Ashes campaign.”
The England party will report to Birmingham on Monday 12 June. They are due to practice at Edgbaston from Tuesday 13 June.
£15 tickets for home quarter-final
Bears have secured a home Vitality Blast quarter-final which will be on Thursday 6 July, with adult tickets only £15.
Tickets ware available online at tickets.edgbaston.com or on the day via the Ticket Office. Members and Season Pass holders can attend for free by scanning their card at the gate.