England all-rounder Moeen Ali has retired from test cricket and said he hopes his career can inspire other English Muslims to play the sport.
Moeen made his test debut in 2014 against Sri Lanka and went on to represent England 64 times in the format. He took 195 wickets, including five five-wicket hauls and a hat trick against South Africa in 2017, and scored five centuries.
Moeen lost his central contract in 2019, which led him to focus on franchise cricket.
“I’m 34 now and I want to play for as long as I can and I just want to enjoy my cricket,” he said on Monday. “Test cricket is amazing, when you’re having a good day it’s better than any other format by far, it’s more rewarding and you feel like you’ve really earned it.
“I’ve enjoyed test cricket but that intensity can be too much sometimes and I feel like I’ve done enough of it and I’m happy and content with how I’ve done.”
Moeen said it would be great if he had been able to “open the door” to other Muslims wanting to play cricket.
“It always takes somebody to inspire you or takes somebody to think, ‘If he can do it, I can,’ and I hope there are a few people out there who are thinking that,” he said.
“I know he wasn’t English but someone like (South Africa’s) Hashim Amla, when I first saw him, I thought if he can do it I can do it. It does take that little spark. I’d love one day in 8-10 years’ time to say Moeen made it easier for me. There have been guys before me who made it easier, so you hope to open the door for someone else.”