England all-rounder Moeen Ali will be taking an indefinite break from red-ball cricket after he was not handed a red-ball contract by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
“He just wants a little bit of a break from Test cricket,” said Ashley Giles, the managing director of the ECB, adding that he hasn’t retired from the longest format of the game.
Moeen has endured a difficult summer, first losing his place in the ODI side to Liam Plunkett during England’s victorious World Cup campaign then being dropped from the Test side after the first two Ashes games for Jack Leach.
“I think for all the guys, not just talking about Moeen, it’s been a really challenging summer. A World Cup and an Ashes back-to-back has had a massive effect on many of these guys, psychologically as much as physically,” said Giles.
“Some of those guys are still carrying that. His experience in the first Test wasn’t a great one but that’s cricket.
“He’s been a great servant to this team and that’s why I encouraged him to leave that option open for him to come back. He might just need that time away and freshen up but he’s been a really good servant to this team and he’s relatively young.”
He has retained his white-ball contract, suggesting he remains a key part of their plans for the ODI and T20I formats.