Tour to Pakistan might be the most special, immense honour to captain England, gushes Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali will be leading England in Jos Buttler's absence in the first of seven T20Is against Pakistan|
Moeen Ali has expressed excitement at the prospect of leading England in his root country of Pakistan in an upcoming seven-match T20I series. The all-rounder shared his early experiences of indulging in the Asian cricketing culture and how his abilities stem from this side of his bloodline.
England are all set to embark upon their first tour of Pakistan since 2005 where they play a seven-match T20I series beginning in Karachi on September 20. The extended series is the first of its kind in history among the top-ten cricketing nations and only the second seven-match T20I series overall. Initially, the series was supposed to last five games but the Three Lions pulled out unexpectedly from their commitment last year and have therefore agreed to play two extra games as a means to apologise. With regular white-ball captain Jos Buttler still recovering from an injury, all-rounder Moeen Ali has been given the leadership duties of the team until the wicket-keeper batsman can take the field once again.
The 35-year-old is partially of Pakistani descent with his father Munir Ali's side of the family stemming from the subcontinent. Moeen believes that his cricketing abilities have been borne from this aspect of his personality and expressed gratefulness at the opportunity of leading the Three Lions in the country of his origin.
"I have been privileged enough to do many overseas trips as an England cricketer from Australia to South Africa to the Caribbean but this tour to Pakistan might be the most special of the lot," he was quoted saying by India today.
"It is going to be memorable playing in front of the Pakistani crowds and also an immense honour to deputise for Jos Buttler, while he recovers from injury, and captain England. For those who do not know, my family background is both English and Pakistani. In fact, my late grandmother was called Betty Cox but I reckon the cricketing side of me definitely comes from my Pakistani side," Ali added.
A veteran of 240 international caps across formats, Moeen was an integral part of the squad that won the World Cup in 2019 and was named an awardee of the Order of the British Empire earlier this year. He has been a trailblazer for the large Asian community in the United Kingdom and is well respected in the continent for his exploits in franchise T20 tournaments.
"I grew up playing the game with a taped up ball like they do in Pakistan and my dad always says I have had that Asian style of playing the game without any fear," Moeen concluded.