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Moeen Ali returns as England name Playing XI for first Ashes Test

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Zahid Noor
Zahid Noor
Zahid Noor is associated with the Pakistan’s largest media network ARY News from Manchester United Kingdom as a News Correspondent. He also plays a vital role in reporting Sports News for A Sports.

LONDON: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Wednesday named the Playing XI for the first Ashes Test against Australia which includes all-rounder Moeen Ali.

Spin bowling all-rounder Moeen Ali, who last played a Test in September 2021 will return to the longest format on Friday when England take on Australia in the first Ashes Test.

Moeen, 36, retired from Test cricket in September 2021 but agreed to come back at Stokes’ request after left-arm spinner Jack Leach sustained a stress fracture in his spine.

“Stokesy messaged me with a question mark — ‘Ashes?’,” Moeen told reporters here on Tuesday.

Moeen Ali claimed that he was unaware of Jack Leach’s back injury and assumed Stokes was kidding.

“Then the news came through and I had a chat with him,” he said. “That was it. It’s the Ashes. To be part of it would be amazing.”

Besides him, veteran pacer James Anderson and his bowling partner Ollie Robinson also returned to England’s Playing XI while another experience Stuart Broad was preferred over Mark Wood to join England’s pace attack.

Anderson and Robinson recovered from a groin and an ankle injury respectively in time to face Australia at Edgbaston on Friday.

Anderson and Robinson both missed the one-off Test against Ireland at Lord’s earlier this month due to injuries sustained in county cricket.

Meanwhile, England Test captain Ben Stokes, who has been nursing a long-term left knee injury, bowled at his full potential in the nets.

With concerns regarding Stokes’s fitness, England opted to choose Broad’s big-game experience and durability over Wood’s added pace, who would only be able to bowl short, quick spells.

England XI for first Ashes Test v Australia: Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (captain), Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson.

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