England's Silverwood apologises for confusion over Moeen departure

  • Cricket
  • Thursday, 18 Feb 2021

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Second Test - England v Pakistan - Ageas Bowl, Southampton, Britain - August 13, 2020 England head coach Chris Silverwood applauds as the players walk off as rain delays play, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Stu Forster/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - England coach Chris Silverwood apologised on Wednesday for the confusion surrounding Moeen Ali's departure from the India tour midway through the test series after skipper Joe Root said the spinner had "chosen to go home".

Moeen played in the second test against India where he picked up eight wickets while he was also England's top scorer in the second innings with 43 runs as the tourists collapsed and lost by 317 runs for India to level the series at 1-1.

Silverwood confirmed selectors had decided beforehand that Moeen, 33, would be granted leave to escape life in the bubble as part of England's rotation policy.

"First of all, we're sorry. The impression we gave yesterday was Moeen's been treated different to other people. He isn't, I can guarantee you that," Silverwood told reporters.

"The decision for him to go home was ours as it was with (Jos) Buttler, Sam (Curran), (Jonny) Bairstow and (Mark) Wood. So we're happy to own that decision.

"It was a unique situation with Moeen, he'd spent so long in isolation getting COVID out in Sri Lanka and he had just broken back into the team. The question was posed to him (on staying) but we thought it was the right decision for him to go."

Silverwood said he and Root had discussed the matter with Moeen on Tuesday and there were no hard feelings.

Moeen is set to rejoin the team in India ahead of the five-match Twenty20 series next month and though there were suggestions his test career is over, Silverwood said he was part of their plans for the Ashes later this year.

"The planning and building for the Ashes started a long time ago and we're continuing to build that group of players," Silverwood added.

"At any given point, anybody can play. Moeen is a very big part of that."

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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