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Birmingham Phoenix captain Moeen Ali admits he can’t wait to lead his hometown side and he hopes to do so in front of a packed, partisan Edgbaston crowd.

Birmingham Phoenix captain Moeen Ali admits he can’t wait to lead his hometown side and he hopes to do so in front of a packed, partisan Edgbaston crowd.

The coronavirus pandemic halted The Hundred, with the fast-paced 100 ball competition postponed until 2021.

Ali, who was retained as a captain alongside women’s skipper Sophie Devine, is incredibly proud of his Second City roots and believes the opportunity is ‘right up there in terms of his career’.

Having played at Edgbaston for England, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, the all-rounder is well aware of the home advantage the stadium brings.

“Birmingham is my city and captaining my home team in The Hundred is right up there in terms of my career,” said Ali.

“I was born, raised and my life is still based in Birmingham, so to be the first-ever men’s captain of Birmingham Phoenix is very special for me.

“Edgbaston has one of the best atmospheres in the world – it’s a place that has so much history and players always have memories and stories of playing there. 

“Even when I’m talking to the foreign players, especially where I am now in the IPL, they talk about Edgbaston very highly. 

“It’s an amazing ground, with fantastic facilities and the stadium has got everything you need.

“Leading Birmingham Phoenix out on to the field at Edgbaston, with the whole community behind you will be an amazing feeling.”

Ali is currently playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, but it’s fair to say he always has one eye on The Hundred and his role as skipper.

The 33-year-old added to his Vitality Blast Finals Day triumphs with Worcestershire when he became the first Muslim to lead the national T20 side after standing-in for England captain Eoin Morgan this year.

The World Cup winner is certainly no stranger to franchise cricket and he’s constantly talking to Birmingham Phoenix Head Coach Andrew McDonald and other players that he meets around the circuit.

“We had a chat a couple of days ago about what we’re trying to do moving forward and how we start to put some plans in place,” said Ali about his conservations with McDonald.

“There’s a lot of work to do before the season starts and we keep in touch regularly.  

“When I see him at grounds when we’re playing in the IPL, we try to have a quick chat about things and we’re both really excited for The Hundred next year.” 

“People are very intrigued and looking forward to playing especially with the hype around it and the build-up,” Ali concluded. 

“It’s all brand new so you’re curious about that. It was disappointing it didn’t go ahead this year, but I think that adds to more enthusiasm this year to try and make it a massive competition. 

“As players, we’re trying to make it the biggest thing we’ve had in cricket in this country.”