WORCESTERSHIRE’S England all-rounder Moeen Ali will take a short break from cricket after being dropped by England for this week’s second Ashes test at Lord’s.
Pears head coach Alex Gidman confirmed the 32-year-old would spend time away from the middle after the all-rounder asked for practice time away from the crease.
Moeen is the leading Test wicket-taker over the last 12 months, with 48 scalps in ten matches at an average of 25.27, yet he has struggled for form in recent months.
After starting the campaign as an integral part of England’s one-day side, the all-rounder was dropped for the latter stages of the World Cup despite fellow spinner Adil Rashid suffering from a chronic shoulder problem.
In Tests, he has registered seven single-figure scores in his last nine innings, with his test career average dipping below 30.
During the first Ashes test at Edgbaston, Moeen scored just four in two innings and took 3-172 on a pitch which saw Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon bowl his side to a crushing 251-run triumph with figures of 6-49.
Somerset slow left-armer Jack Leach will replace Moeen in a repeat of the 2017/18 Ashes series in Australia which saw Moeen replaced by Leach for the New Zealand leg of the tour before Moeen returned last summer with nine wickets against India at the Ageas Bowl.
Gidman said the all-rounder, who led the Rapids to their Vitality Blast triumph last season, would take a break after a ‘hectic and high intensity period of international cricket’ before returning to play for Worcestershire.
“Mo is spending a little time away from the middle recharging his batteries and putting in some quality practice time which he feels he needs and we completely respect,” he said.
“He has had an intense schedule of international cricket involving the ICC World Cup and the start of the Ashes.
“Mo loves playing for Worcestershire and he gives a lift to everyone in the dressing room when he comes back and plays for us,” Gidman added.
The all-rounder starred with four wickets in the Rapids’ opening night win over Nottinghamshire Outlaws in this year’s Vitality Blast, just four days after England’s nerve-shredding World Cup win.
“We saw at Trent Bridge what he gives to us and we look forward to when he returns soon,” he added.