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Moeen Ali reverses Test retirement, included in England Ashes squad
London: England spinner Moeen Ali, who had announced his retirement from Test cricket back in 2021, has been included in England's squad for the first two Ashes Tests against Australia, starting from June 16 onwards.
"Warwickshire spin-bowling all-rounder Moeen Ali has been added to the England Men's Test squad for the first two Ashes Test matches against Australia starting at Edgbaston on Friday, 16 June 2023," said a statement from England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Wednesday. He replaced Somerset's Jack Leach, who was withdrawn from the original 16-player squad on Sunday after sustaining a low back stress fracture, which rules him out of the five-match Ashes Test series.
As per ICC, the 31-year-old Somerset slow-left-armer developed low back symptoms during England's Test victory over Ireland on Saturday.
A stress fracture was discovered during a scan on Sunday in London, ruling him out of the upcoming Ashes Test series.
Ali, 35, who retired from Test cricket at the end of the 2021 summer, has 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.
The Birmingham-born off-spinner will be looking to add to his 64 Test caps. He has scored 2,914 Test runs and has 195 wickets at Test level. He has five centuries and 14 fifties in the format and his inclusion will add a lot to the depth of England's batting. He will celebrate his 36th birthday during the first Test at Edgbaston on June 18.
Rob Key, Managing Director of England Men's Cricket, said: "We reached out to Mo (Moeen Ali) 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."
"We wish Mo and the rest of the squad well for the Ashes campaign," added Key.
The England party will report to Birmingham on Monday, June 12. They are due to practice at Edgbaston from Tuesday, June 13.
England Men's Ashes Test Squad: Ben Stokes (Durham) Captain, Moeen Ali (Warwickshire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Harry Brook (Yorkshire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Matthew Potts (Durham), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Josh Tongue (Worcestershire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham)