Moeen Ali has ended his 15-year association with Worcestershire by returning to Warwickshire on a three-year white-ball contract.
Moeen, 35, was born in Sparkhill, Birmingham – a few miles down the road from Edgbaston – and reaffirmed his ties with the city last year by captaining Birmingham Phoenix in the inaugural season of the Hundred, a role that will continue this year.
The deal marks Moeen’s return to the club where he started his professional cricket career as a 15-year-old. He developed through the Warwickshire Academy and Second XI ranks, striking a half-century on his first-class and County Championship debuts.
In total, Moeen made 16 appearances for Warwickshire, before joining Worcestershire in 2007.
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And though Moeen officially retired from Test cricket last year, having recently given an indication that he would be willing to consider a recall for this winter’s tour of Pakistan, his new Warwickshire deal includes a “pay-as-you-play” clause for potential appearances in the County Championship.
In his time at Worcestershire, Moeen has become an international star, making 228 England appearances across formats, including 2914 runs and 195 wickets in 64 Tests, plus a key role in the England ODI squad that rose from ignominy at the 2015 World Cup to becoming champions four years later.
He is also one of the most sought-after overseas signings at the Indian Premier League, following stints at Royal Challengers Bangalore and now Chennai Super Kings.
“I’m delighted to return home to Edgbaston,” Moeen said. “I was born and raised just a few miles away from the stadium, with my life always centred around Birmingham.
“When the opportunity presented itself, it was a decision I couldn’t say no to and I believe I have unfinished business at the Bears. I’m incredibly excited to be back and to play in front of the best atmosphere in world cricket.
“It’s a place that has so much history and players always have memories and stories of playing here. I’m looking forward to contributing and be part of hopefully something special.
“I’m sad to be leaving Worcestershire after so long and have loved every minute of it. I’ve played with some amazing people and owe a huge thanks to the club for bringing me here and giving me the platform to perform. I now feel it’s time to go back to Birmingham for the back end of my career, but I will always love Worcestershire.”
Moeen captained Worcestershire to the T20 Blast title in 2018•Getty Images
Paul Farbrace, Warwickshire’s director of cricket, said: “Mo is a huge signing for Warwickshire and a real statement of intent for our ambitions.
“Mo is someone I’ve known for many years and is a leader on and off-the-pitch. The experience he will bring to the club will be pivotal in our development as a team.
“He says himself that he has unfinished business at Warwickshire and I’m sure the Members and supporters will be excited to see Mo back as a Bear.”
Moeen captained Worcestershire to the T20 Blast title in 2018 and to the final the following year but the club have struggled in the competition this season and his appearances have been sporadic due to his various other commitments.
Paul Pridgeon, the chair of their cricket steering group, said: “It’s disappointing to lose a player of Moeen’s calibre, but we have expected it could possibly happen for some time. Mo was a big part of the dressing room and had made enormous contributions on and off the field for a long time.
“He will be remembered as an iconic Worcestershire player and will always be welcome at New Road. We wish him all the very best.”