20th Jan, 2019

Rhodes admits "disappointment" with Ali absence from T20 Blast quarter-final clash

Worcester Editorial 1st Aug, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

STEVE Rhodes has admitted he is disappointed Moeen Ali is not being made available by England for Worcestershire’s Natwest T20 Blast quarter-final with Surrey.

But the club’s director of cricket who rang up national head coach, Peter Moores, to ask if Ali could play said he also understood his point of view.

The county have been given a boost after Colin Munro was cleared by New Zealand Cricket for tomorrow’s (Saturday) clash at The Oval.

England want Moeen, who took 6-67 in the third Test victory over India at the Ageas Bowl, and their other players to recharge their batteries before the next Test at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Rhodes said: “Personally I’m a little bit disappointed that Moeen will not be with us and mainly because to a club like Worcestershire, he is such a key player.

“Some of the other England players are with the big counties who have got several good players. We’ve got good players but we haven’t got many absolute gems like Moeen.

“I would have loved for him to be helping us qualify. It means a lot to Worcestershire to try and get there.

“I’m pretty sure he would have had rest time even though it is only three hours cricket. But rules are rules and coaches are coaches and I thoroughly understand as well Peter Moores situation.

“He’s got a right and he wants his team fresh and quite rightly raring to go for the next Test. Who can blame him for that? I rang up Pete but I had no joy.

“At the end of the day this guy is helping to win Tests for England and we also want the best for Moeen Ali.

“But a T20 quarter-final, my own view is they could have let him play but I understand Peter having a different view because he is very much at the sharp end of it coaching England.”

But the former England wicket-keeper praised the way the county have dealt with Moeen’s absence for long periods this season.

“We have been used to Moeen not being around all season long and we are absolutely delighted that he is playing for England and doing well for England because that’s a massive buzz for this club,” he added.

“It’s a massive buzz for the lads in the dressing room, one of their colleagues is doing well in Test matches, and a massive buzz for Moeen.

“I’m also delighted that we’ve managed to win quite a lot of games without him so that is a tremendous news. It means other people must be doing quite well.”

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