Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Moeen Says He Will “never Forget” Help From Bumpy For Career Turnaround

Moeen Says He Will “never Forget” Help From Bumpy For Career Turnaround

Moeen Ali has paid tribute to Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes and says he deserves "a massive amount of credit" for the dramatic turnaround in his cricketing fortunes.

Moeen admits that his career was "drifting" for a couple of seasons and thought the chance of playing for England had "passed him by."

But the 27-year-old says a face to face meeting with former England wicket-keeper Rhodes was the turning point and said "the backing he has given me has changed my career."

Now Moeen is a regular England international in all formats of the game and has been chosen as one of the 2015 Wisden Cricketers Of The Year.

But he will "never forget" the help he has received from Rhodes and says he deserves much praise for the influence he has had on his career.

Moeen said: "What was the turning point in my career? I think sitting down with Bumpy. I haven't mentioned this much but Bumpy has done a lot for my career, developing my career, making me think about my own game and he's pushed me a long way and made me more disciplined in terms of my batting.

"We just sat down and made more of a plan, how I'm going to play for England and how I'm going to get there, to graft in county cricket and really put my head down, score some runs, leave balls all day. There is a lot of credit that goes to Bumpy.

"There are obviously a lot of other people, my parents, but what turned my career would be playing at Worcester, taking responsibility when a lot of good players left, more senior players, and Bumpy gave me the confidence and responsibility with batting and being first spinner and helped me.

"I appreciate that and will never forget that.

"Ever since I played for England, Bumpy has been so supportive. He is really happy and when he signed me at 19 it is probably what he wanted, to develop me and become an international player.

"I'm happy for him as well as myself because he takes a lot of credit for me playing for England and I can see that's what he is doing with a lot of younger players and I'm sure he'll develop a lot more England players."

It was Rhodes who have Moeen the chance to develop as a bowler after Gareth Batty left the county at the end of the 2009 season to rejoin Surrey.

Moeen said: "Was my career drifting away? Definitely. There were a couple of years where I just drifted a bit. Maybe that helped me learn quicker about my game but drifting is not great and I did that for two or three years and thought I would never play for England.

"I took the responsibility of being one of the main players at Worcester.

"When Batts left, Bumpy came up to me and said I'm going to give you the responsibility, I see you have got potential, just bowl and see where we go.

"I struggled the first year or so but I worked hard with Bumpy with plans and stuff and the backing he has given me has changed my career.

"He put me to number three when I was batting four and five and made me main spinner and I couldn't ask for anything else."