Moeen Ali: Worcestershire disappointed by T20 absence

Moeen Ali and England celebrate
England celebrate as Moeen Ali takes the wicket of Pankaj Singh to win the third Test in Southampton

Worcestershire have expressed disappointment that England will not allow all-rounder Moeen Ali to play in their T20 Blast quarter-final.

On Saturday, they face Surrey at The Oval with a finals day place at stake.

"I would have loved for him to be helping us qualify. It means a lot to Worcestershire to try and get there," director of cricket Steve Rhodes said.

"But rules are rules and coaches are coaches - and I thoroughly understand Peter Moores' situation."

Rhodes continued: "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."

Moeen Ali facts and figures
Born: 18 June 1987Birth place: Birmingham
First-class debut: May 2005Test debut: June 2014
First-class best bowling figures (innings): 6-29Test best bowling figures (innings): 6-67
Highest first-class score: 250Highest Test score: 108*

Moeen played a starring role in England's 266-run win over India in the third Test at Southampton, taking eight wickets, including 6-67 in the second innings.

He has now claimed 15 wickets in the first three games of the five-match series against India, at an average of 26.46.

The fourth Test at Old Trafford starts next Thursday and England head coach Moores wants his players to take a break.

James Anderson, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Chris Woakes, and Stuart Broad will also miss T20 quarter-finals for their respective counties.

But with T20 matches lasting only three hours, Rhodes believes there would have been scope for 27-year-old Moeen to have "rest time".

Rhodes said: "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.

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes:
"It's a massive buzz for the lads in the dressing room, one of their colleagues is doing well in Test matches."

"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."

Moeen also took three wickets in the two-match series against Sri Lanka earlier this summer, as well as scoring an unbeaten 108 in the second-Test defeat at Headlingley, but doubts remained about his ability to fill the role of the team's main spin bowler.

Rhodes is delighted that his performance in Southampton answered the critics and said: "I know he is thrilled and long may that continue."

Moeen's impact for England has created a feel-good factor in the Worcestershire dressing room, according to Rhodes.

"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," he added.