Moeen Ali sympathizes with all format young people like harry brook He may have to choose when to play for England due to competing fixture demands.
Frequent handshakes over England’s tight schedule are nothing new, but the issue has been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic and the proliferation of T20 franchise leagues.
England’s next four-year calendar includes a duo competition against South Africa in 2026/27 where all formats are set to be played, as the Test and limit formats continue to diverge.
Conflicting requirements call for separate red and white ball teams, and Wednesday’s first ODI in Bangladesh takes place just over 24 hours after the end of a Test series in New Zealand.
While Brook tops the Test team and is part of the England side that won the T20 World Cup, Moeen thinks the schedule could deprive the 24-year-old from being a full-fledged all-format star.
“It’s wrong for young players who want to play all forms and play as many matches as they can for England,” said Moeen. “I think it’s something to be really proud of when you’re done.
“I have over 100 ODIs and 60 odd Tests and that means I feel like I’ve played a lot for England. But Brooky could reach 28 or 29 and not have played a lot of white ball cricket or one of the formats.
“Obviously it’s difficult. Even if there is a window and you play international cricket to help the players, there will just be more franchises (cricket). Someone will find another league and fill that void. It’s probably better to keep it as it is now.”
Priority has been given to the Tests and T20s over the last few years, meaning the ODI format has been neglected and only sporadically coming out of those that helped England in their 2019 World Cup victory.
England are poised to defend their crown in India later this year, in conditions not too different from what they will face in their three games against Bangladesh in the next few days.
But this series is England’s last format until September and has no matches for players like Joe Root – a first choice playing only 15 ODIs since the 2019 World Cup final – can confuse selection matters.
“We know Rooty will be at number three, but he hasn’t been playing for a while,” Moeen said. “I’m sure he’s dying to play but he probably won’t have many games right now before the World Cup.
“I’m sure he’ll get a few (in September), but just in case getting the other players and making sure they’re ready isn’t any easier for the captain than anything else. If the other guys do well, that would be a big headache too.”
Moeen has helped England both victories in a limited number of World Cups and his largely affordable spin bowling and aggressive mid-range strikes could come to the fore in India in the fall.
Moeen will be 36 years old by then, but she has no intention of retiring anytime soon, as she has balanced her international duties with a few franchise contracts, despite having made time for her first-class career.
“I’m 35 years old and trying to make the most of my cricket career and my ability to keep playing – I want to play as long as I can and hopefully retire when I can’t really play anymore.” aforementioned.
“It feels like I’m moving really well right now. There was a period a few years ago when I couldn’t move very well and I thought, ‘I’d better start training a little more.’ I started training a little more – just to get a little fit. Before that, I wasn’t doing much.
“I know there will come a day when I can’t play cricket anymore, so I’m trying to make the most of it.”