England’s charismatic all-rounder Moeen Ali has said that while he is in talks with several counties as he nears the end of his contract with Worcestershire, he categorically stated that he will join Yorkshire for “cricketing reasons” and not “to make it a publicity stunt”.
Yorkshire have shown keen interest in the 34-year-old Moeen as they look to strengthen their top order. It suits the veteran England cricketer also as he aims to come out of Test retirement.
But, given the fact that Yorkshire were rocked by cricketer Azeem Rafiq’s racism scandal, the county showing interest in Moeen, as reported by Daily Mail, is being seen as a move to restore its tarnished image.
Since the scandal broke out, Yorkshire have replaced their entire management and coaching staff, with Lord Patel as their chairman now, Darren Gough as director of cricket and Ottis Gibson as head coach.
Moeen’s contract with Worcestershire is up for renewal this year, and the cricket has said he could leave New Road after 15 years.
Speaking to BBC Test Match Special about his future, Moeen said, “This is my last year at Worcester. I’m talking to them; I’m talking to other counties.
“I do love playing for Worcester, I’ve been there 15 years now. I moved from Warwickshire and they obviously helped me develop my game, play for England, but when the time comes I’ll make a decision.
“I think Yorkshire are doing a good job and will continue to do that. I don’t think they need to sign me to make it a publicity stunt, almost. If I ever left, it would be for cricketing reasons,” said Moeen, who has also reportedly got feelers from new England coach Brendon McCullum to come out of Test retirement.