"it was just my wife wasn't that keen"
Moeen Ali has revealed that his wife was not all that keen on his Ashes return.
The cricketer has come out of Test retirement to play in the upcoming Ashes series, which gets underway on June 16, 2023.
Ali had received a text from captain Ben Stokes that simply read: “Ashes?”
Unaware that Jack Leach was out of the series with a lower-back stress fracture, this was met with the reply: “LOL.”
Ali thought Stokes was “taking the mick” but two days later, he said yes.
He explained that over those two days, he had talks with Ben Stokes and Rob Key at the PCA golf day.
Although many called for his return, Ali admitted that his wife Firuza “wasn’t that keen”.
Explaining that he had a trip to the Cotswolds booked before Ben Stokes texted him, Moeen Ali said:
“I did have some family holidays booked, that was the only reason.
“But there weren’t that many, it was just my wife wasn’t that keen but everybody else around me was.”
On June 14, 2023, he will travel to Windsor with Firuza, his father and his mother to be presented with an OBE, an honour endorsed by England Head Coach Brendon McCullum.
Speaking about the honour, Moeen Ali said:
“Mum and Dad love it. I’ve bought a three-piece suit. It’s going to be boiling.”
This dash to collect an honour for “services to cricket” is a useful reminder of a career that was forged in nearby Sparkhill, comes full circle this week and could have been deemed fulfilled.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak even called for Ali to come out of retirement.
On Mr Sunak’s intervention, Ali said:
“Somebody told me about the Prime Minister but that didn’t convince me as much.
“I’d really made my mind up before that. It’s just the fact that it’s the Ashes and the exciting cricket the guys have been playing.
“It’s a kind of era I’d have loved when I was playing.”
On whether he would have come out of Test retirement for another captain, Ali replied:
“Probably not, no. [Stokes’] mindset is very different to other captains I’ve had previously.”
“I’m not saying they are bad captains. It’s just the way the game is going and the way they have been playing, he is the kind of guy you want to play for.”
Moeen Ali suggested that his Ashes return is likely to be a one-off but he did not shut the door completely, saying: