England coaching team admit poor communication over Moeen Ali departure

All-rounder did not ‘choose’ to leave India as was originally suggested

Rory Dollard
Wednesday 17 February 2021 14:50
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Moeen Ali will begin a pre-determined rest period
Moeen Ali will begin a pre-determined rest period

England coach Chris Silverwood has apologised for the poor communication surrounding Moeen Ali’s departure from India, saying team management are “happy to own that decision”.

After England’s second-Test defeat, which saw India level the series at 1-1, touring captain Joe Root said the all-rounder had “chosen” to leave the hosts’ country following his first appearance in 18 months.

It later emerged that Moeen was in fact entering a pre-determined rest period, which has been allocated to all multi-format players this winter.

READ MORE: Moeen’s muddled departure shines light on impossibly balancing act

It is understood that Root sought out his team-mate to explain the error, and – speaking on Wednesday – Silverwood attempted to clarify the situation.

“First of all, we’re sorry if the impression we gave [on Tuesday] was that Moeen’s being treated different to other people,” he said.

“He isn’t, I can guarantee you of that; the decision was ours, as it was with Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood. We’re happy to own that decision.”

Silverwood did admit that the idea of staying out for the remainder of the series had been broached with the 33-year-old, while accepting his personal circumstances made it difficult.

As well as having a young family at home, Moeen has spent 20 days in room-based quarantine since the start of the trip, having tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival in Sri Lanka last month.

“The question was posed to him. He was asked, but ultimately we felt it was the right decision for him to go home,” he said. “It was a unique situation with Mooen, he’d spent so long in isolation, getting Covid out in Sri Lanka, and with how he just broke back into the team.

“We touched base with Mo [on Tuesday night], as did Joe. He’s fine, he understands that we’ve got his best interests at heart and we’re trying to look after him, the same as the other players.

“These are strange times we’re in and we have to look after our players.”

PA

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