England star Moeen Ali used his retirement announcement to call on a new generation of British Muslim cricketers to follow in his footsteps.
The 34-year-old confirmed his immediate retirement from the game on Monday, after briefing captain Joe Root and head coach Chris Silverwood of his decision last week.
Ali took 195 wickets and completed 2,914 races through 64 test matches representing his country during a seven-year international career.
Speaking after his ruling was made public, he said he hoped he had made such a big impact off the pitch as he did during his tenure as an international tester.
“I probably didn’t realize how big it was, but it’s a huge thing,” he told The Guardian when asked about his role as representative of British Asians in a English jersey.
“It didn’t seem like a burden, but I felt like there was a more important goal to me than just the beating and bowling. There was a goal of trying to inspire others.
“You always need someone to inspire you or [make you] say “if he can do it, me too”. I hope there is someone who thinks that. I certainly felt this when I first saw [South Africa’s] Hashim Amla on TV.
“It takes a little spark. I wish in 10 years someone would say ‘Moeen made it easier for me’.”
Ali chose to make his decision now ahead of the Ashes series in Australia this winter, admitting he “felt like he was done” in the recent series against India.
“I was thinking about the Ashes and how much I would have loved to go back and do well there. But it’s such a long trip if I’m not there and I think it would be very, very difficult,” said he declared. admitted.
With his testing career over, the 34-year-old intends to continue playing the game in white ball formats.
He was bought by the Chennai Super Kings for £ 700,000 for the 2021 Indian Premier League T20 competition and wants to earn silverware there.
And Ali will “do whatever it takes” to help England in the next two T20 World Cups and the 50+ competition in 2023.
“I enjoyed Test Cricket but the intensity can be too much at times and I feel like I’ve done enough and I’m happy and satisfied with what I’ve done,” he concluded.