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Moeen Ali takes indefinite break from red-ball cricket as he loses Test contract
England News

Moeen Ali takes indefinite break from red-ball cricket as he loses Test contract

Moeen Ali has ruled himself out of England's Test tour to New Zealand after deciding to take an indefinite break from the longer version of the game.

Moeen's announcement of a break from red-ball cricket comes in the wake of being omitted from the list of players awarded Test contracts.

The decision seems to be triggered by the exhausting summer of cricket during which Moeen was also part of England's World Cup-winning squad.

"It's just to get away from it a little bit. I feel like I want to enjoy my batting and this will give me a bit of a break," Moeen told ESPNcricinfo.

Following his torrid show with both bat and ball in the Ashes series opener against Australia, he had taken a brief break from all forms of cricket.

Ashley Giles, the managing director of the ECB, has emphasized Moeen's sabbatical from Test cricket will last a short while and does not indicate plans of retirement.

“He just wants a little bit of a break from Test cricket,” said Giles.

Moeen experienced a sharp dip in his performances in the last couple of months.

He could represent his team in only five games at the World Cup before being dropped from the playing XI to make room for paceman Liam Plunkett.

Later, he lost his place in the Test side to Somerset spinner Jack Leach.

“I think for all the guys, not just talking about Moeen, it’s been a really challenging summer. A World Cup and an Ashes back-to-back has had a massive effect on many of these guys, psychologically as much as physically," Giles added.

"Some of those guys are still carrying that. His experience in the first Test wasn’t a great one but that’s cricket.”

'I encouraged him to leave the option open to come back' - Ashley Giles

Moeen, currently captaining Worcestershire in the T20 Blast, has still managed to retain his white-ball contract implying he is a vital cog of the ODI and T20I side.

The 32-year-old, who recently struck a blistering century against Sussex to seal the Finals Day berth for his side, will also miss the red-ball leg of the tour to South Africa in December and January.

Giles reflected on Moeen's achievements over the last year in Test matches including his bowling heroics during England's whitewash over Sri Lanka and dubbed him as a "great servant" of England cricket.

“He’s been a great servant to this team and that’s why I encouraged him to leave that option open for him to come back.

He might just need that time away and freshen up but he’s been a really good servant to this team and he’s relatively young."