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Ashes 2023

Report: Moeen Ali considering Ashes return after England approach

England all-rounder Moeen Ali, who is reportedly considering reversing his Test retirement for the Ashes
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

According to The Cricketer, Moeen Ali is considering an approach from the England management to make a return for the Ashes, after first-choice Test spinner Jack Leach was ruled out by a stress fracture.

England’s planning for the five-match series against Australia was thrown into disarray by the news that Leach had suffered a serious injury.  Leach has been a key member of Ben Stokes’ side, playing every Test since the start of last summer, and taking the most wickets and bowling the most overs of any England bowler in that time. However, while his loss is a blow to England’s plans, it also raised the prospect of Moeen, who last played Test cricket in 2021, making a shock comeback to the side, with England’s back-up slow bowling options limited.

Moeen retired from Test cricket at the end of the 2021 summer, though he has since flirted with a return, including briefly describing himself as “unretired” in 2022. On their tour of Pakistan last winter, England used Will Jacks and Rehan Ahmed as supporting spinners for Leach, while Matt Parkinson deputised for the left-arm spinner as a concussion sub last summer. However, Moeen’s experience and Test calibre makes him attractive option, while his fearless style with bat and ball makes the prospect of him playing under Stokes and Brendon McCullum tantalising.


Moeen hasn’t played any red-ball cricket since his departure from the Test arena, but remains one of the most highly valued white-ball cricketers in the world, a near ever-present in Chennai Super Kings’ 2021 and 2023 IPL triumphs, and a double World Cup winner.

There is yet to be any official word from either England or Moeen about a potential return, but The Cricketer‘s George Dobell, who broke the story that Moeen was retiring from Tests in 2021, reports both that England have approached Moeen, and that Moeen is seriously considering the offer.

The Ashes starts at Edgbaston on Friday, June 16.

You can bet on the 2023 Ashes with our Match Centre partners, bet365.

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