Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Moeen Relishing “very Special” Occasion At Lord’s After First Test Call-Up

Moeen Relishing “very Special” Occasion At Lord’s After First Test Call-Up

Moeen Ali has already been on the winning side in several "Test" matches for England – but it will be "very special" when he walks down the steps at Lord's to face Sri Lanka on Thursday.

The Worcestershire all-rounder used to play imaginary England v Australia Tests in his back garden with brothers Kadeer and Omar Ali – and often came out on top.

But now Moeen will go from make believe to the real thing after earning his first England Test call-up as an all-rounder against the Sri Lankans.

It is a reward for the prolific season and a third Moeen has enjoyed with the bat in the LV = County Championship plus the development of his off-spinning skills.

Moeen, who had a net and bowling session at New Road today before joining up with England, said: "It will mean a lot to walk down the steps at Lord's if selected. Everyone wants to play Test cricket for England.

"I've played a few Test matches in my back garden with my brothers but this will be very special.

"A lot of the time I was England either Marcus Trescothick, Michael Vaughan, Graeme Hick, these guys. My brother would be Australia or West Indies.

"I won a lot of the time. I let them win a couple of times. Obviously there were certain shots we couldn't play over the top in the confines of the garden."

Moeen will have plenty of family support at the home of cricket. He said: "It will be very special walking out to bat there at Lord's. I've watched it over the years, people walking through there (the Long Room) to bat.

"My parents will be there, my family will be there, I'm really looking forward to it. All the tickets have gone to my family, for hopefully my first Test match.

"They are all coming to watch and it is a very proud moment for them."

Should he be selected, Moeen will also be making his home debut for the England senior side with all his previous appearances abroad in the West Indies or Bangladesh in ODI or T20 cricket.

He said: "That's one thing I was looking forward to, coming back here and hopefully playing for England at home.

"That will be a bit special. England in England, you get good crowds for international games. That will be fantastic.

"I always dreamed of playing in a Test match for England. Everyone wants to play Test cricket for England, everyone wants to play international cricket for England.

"It doesn't bother me if it's T20, ODIs or Tests but if I had a choice I'd play Test matches."