Cricket Galiyara

India vs England, 2021 – Joe Root, Chris Silverwood apologise to Moeen Ali for home-going comments


England captain said that Moeen had ‘chosen’ to leave India tour, but has clarified comments

Chris Silverwood and Joe Root have both apologised for comments made about Moeen Ali in a press conference following England’s defeat in the second Test against India.

Root, the England captain, appeared to suggest Moeen had unilaterally decided to leave the tour with two Tests of the series remaining.

“Moeen has chosen to go home,” Root said at the time. “It’s obviously been a very tricky tour for him. As mentioned at the start, if players feel like they need to get out of the bubble, then that’s been an option. With Moeen it wasn’t more asking if he wanted to stay, it was a decision he had chosen.”

In truth, Moeen’s break from the tour had been arranged by the selectors several weeks previously and was consistent with the team management’s policy of giving all their all-format players a break from the bio-bubble at some stage on the trip. Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood have all had similar breaks.

Root’s comments sparked something of a backlash across the media. Although some defended Moeen, others latched onto the words to express their dissatisfaction on the incorrect assumption that he had left the tour on something of a whim, having been recalled to the Test team just a week previously.

Realising that his choice of words had been somewhat clumsy, Root sought out Moeen when the team returned to the hotel after the game on Tuesday. He explained that he had not expressed himself clearly and reiterated Moeen’s value to the team. He also clarified his support for the rotation policy and his appreciation of the need for players to balance their family lives alongside their professional commitments.

Moeen is understood to have accepted the apology and departs the tour on good terms with the team, its captain and coaches. He returns to India at the end of the month as part of England’s T20I squad and retains hopes of being picked up in the IPL auction.

Now Silverwood, the England head coach, has made the apology public and confirmed the decision to rest Moeen during the tour was made by the team management and not by the player himself. He also confirmed they had asked Moeen on the third day of the second Test whether he would consider staying with the Test squad, but says that ultimately the team management decided it was “the right decision for him to go home”.

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