ENGLAND all-rounder Moeen Ali will leave New Road when his contract expires at the end of the summer, Worcestershire CCC has confirmed.
After being courted by a number of counties, Moeen has signed a three year deal to play primarily Blast and one day cricket for Warwickshire.
He is also available to play four-day Championship cricket for the Bears with a pay-as-you-play clause included in his deal.
The all-rounder joined the Pears in September 2006 and went on to play nearly 350 games across all formats, scoring more than 13,000 runs, taking in excess of 300 wickets and winning three trophies in his time at the club.
He made his last appearance in Worcestershire’s final Vitality Blast fixture of the 2022 season at New Road against Notts Outlaws on July 3. He is not expected to feature for the Pears for the rest of the season.
35-year-old Moeen was a regular for Worcestershire across all formats until he made his England debut and became centrally contracted.
England commitments and the pandemic meant his availability was heavily limited for the Pears over the past three years.
His first major trophy-winning success came in his second season with the county, playing his part in the club’s NatWest Pro40 title win.
Red-ball success followed immediately with promotion in 2008 and then bouncing straight back to Division One in 2010. Moeen was also part of the promotion-winning side in 2017.
Arguably though, Moeen’s finest memory in Worcestershire colours came more recently, when leading the Rapids to a first Vitality Blast title in 2018. The following year saw more white-ball success, with the Rapids, agonisingly, being one ball away from becoming the first club to achieve back-to-back T20 titles.
Moeen will always be remembered as an inspirational leader who has played an enormous part in the club over his 16 years at New Road.
“I’m sad to be leaving Worcestershire after so long and have loved every minute of it,” he said.
“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. I hope I made the fans proud. Thank you”
Head coach Alex Gidman said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to work alongside Mo in a coach and captain relationship for the last four years.
“The Vitality Blast victory in 2018 and coming so close to retaining in 2019 will live long in my memory as a memorable part of the early days of my coaching career.
“It’s extremely sad to see him move on, but we wish him all the best for the future.”
Cricket Steering Group Chair Paul Pridgeon 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.