The England all-rounder signs a new deal at Worcestershire
MOEEN Ali has praised the role of head coach Steve Rhodes after signing a new five-year contract with Worcestershire.
The Pears were promoted back to Division One this season and Moeen scored half-centuries in all three of the Championship matches in which he played during Worcestershire’s Division Two title-winning campaign in 2017.
In total, the England allrounder has made 18 County Championship appearances in four seasons for Worcestershire, and has also squeezed in regular appearances in limited-overs matches since becoming an England regular.
And after joining Worcestershire from Warwickshire in 2007, Moeen said it’s all down to Rhodes as to why he put pen to paper on a deal that keeps him at New Road until 2022.
Moeen, who is currently preparing for the forthcoming Ashes tour, said: “Bumpy (Rhodes) is a massive reason for me signing. He has always been good to me, he has always supported me and looked after me and even when I am away with England he is always sending me messages.
“It’s happy days. To commit my future and probably the rest of my career to Worcestershire is a fantastic feeling.
“I’ve been part of this club now for a very long time. We have some brilliant young players, probably the best young English players in the country.
“It is a fantastic club and they have always been good to me and supported me. I’m delighted to sign.
“We are in Division One now and I don’t think we are far off now in all competitions and the young players are gaining more and more experience.”
Moeen, 30, has played 129 times in all formats for England since his debut in 2014, scoring five centuries and taking 128 wickets in 44 Tests.
He is likely to be England’s No1 spinner Down Under as England fly on Saturday to try and retain the Urn.
A delighted Rhodes said: “Moeen is our England player and it’s important for us to have an England player. It’s also important for our dressing room, our players, our staff and our members and supporters and everyone involved at the club.
“It sends a message to other clubs that our better players don’t feel the need to be elsewhere. They want to be on this journey to success and in Moeen’s case, he has stayed loyal to the club in signing this longer deal.
“He is in such a rich vein of form internationally and on the back of a wonderful season, he is turning himself into one of the best all-rounders in the world in international cricket. For us to sign someone of that ilk for five years is a real credit to all we do at Worcestershire.
“Whilst Moeen is very loyal, he also believes we’ve got some terrific young players that are trying to go places.
“Whenever he comes back, it gives a big lift to the place. He is such a loyal guy. He knows we were the vehicle that gave him the opportunities to impress people and get selected for England in the first place.”
Respect: Moeen Ali, right, has nothing but praise for coach Steve Rhodes