Moeen Ali

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS - By Ge­orge Jones

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.”

PIC­TURE: Getty Im­ages

Re­spect: Moeen Ali, right, has noth­ing but praise for coach Steve Rhodes

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