Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Moeen Earns First England Test Call-Up Against Sri Lankans At Lord’s

Moeen Earns First England Test Call-Up Against Sri Lankans At Lord’s

Mooen Ali has earned his first Test call-up after being named today in the squad for the opening match against Sri Lanka at Lord's starting on 12th June 2014.

The Worcestershire all-rounder has made the next step forward at international level after previously being heavily involved in England's ODI and Twenty20 plans.

Moeen was included in the squad for the tour of the West Indies and the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh this winter and played in three ODIs and six Twenty20 internationals.

He was also part of the squad for the ODI with Scotland and Twenty20 encounter with Sri Lanka this summer but was not selected to play.

Now Moeen, who signed a new five year contract at New Road early last summer, has been recognised for his outstanding form in red ball cricket during the past 15 months.

The 26-year-old was the leading run-scorer in the country in championship cricket in 2013 and this season is averaging 74.20 with 371 runs from five innings including 162 this week against Surrey at the Kia Oval.

But he will also be expected to play a role with the ball for England and has also made some useful contributions with his off-spin and admits he is learning from Pakistan star Saeed Ajmal during his spell at New Road.

Moeen said: "I loved my time for England during the winter and everyone made me feel so welcome and part of the squad and, apart from the last couple of T20s when I didn't get many runs, overall I was quite pleased.

"I thought the previous winter that the chance might have passed me by to play for England but I put my foot down and really worked hard on my game and to score mountains of runs.

"This winter's experience has given me the hunger to want to play more international cricket and obviously the next step is Test cricket.

"I've been concentrating on playing for Worcestershire, who I love playing for, but to now be selected for the Test squad is fantastic news."

Moeen relishes enhancing his bowling skills via working with Ajmal at New Road.

He said: "Saeed is always giving me tips. He has done it at the top level and what I'm going through at the moment practicing bowling-wise, he has been through already so that gives me a confidence boost.

"Saeed also helped me a lot the first time he was here (in 2011) with my bowling and as a cricketer."

Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes said: "No-one hit more balls in practice than Moeen and he thoroughly deserved his call-up during the winter with Lions and then for the full tours including the World Cup.

"But what a fantastic thing that is for this club, that we've now got a player in the England Test squad who loves playing at this club.

"He is class. He proved it last year with the amount of runs he scored and has been determined to score heavily again this season and is also working with Saeed on his bowling."

England squad

Alastair Cook (Essex) (Capt)

Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)

James Anderson (Lancashire)

Gary Ballance (Yorkshire)

Ian Bell (Warwickshire)

Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)

Chris Jordan (Sussex)

Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire)

Matt Prior (Sussex)

Sam Robson (Middlesex)

Joe Root (Yorkshire)

Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)