All-rounder Moeen Ali is excited to captain England in the upcoming seven-match T20I series against Pakistan—the country where his roots belong—ahead of the opening match on Tuesday (September 20) in Karachi.
He further said that leading England in Pakistan was meant to happen and he feels the timing is right as well, as they are returning to the county for the first time since 2005.
Regular captain Jos Buttler has a calf injury which he suffered during the Hundred and has been advised by the medical staff to take a rest. He is set to miss the majority of the T20I series but said that he'll try to play in the last two T20Is.
Moeen Ali told BBC Sport: “It was meant to be. It feels amazing that after such a long time the timing is right for me to lead England there. I've played in Pakistan before but representing England for the first time there, that's special and amazing. I'm really excited and hopefully, we can play some good cricket and entertain the crowd.”
The all-rounder also claimed that international cricket has returned to Pakistan in the true sense with the return of England touring the country after 17 years.
He continued, “Other teams have toured there already but when England go there, that's when cricket in Pakistan will really feel like its back. It's really important because Pakistan has always been a really talented team but they need to play in front of their own crowds and their own kids so they can inspire the next generation coming through.”
He also revealed that Saeed Anwar is his favorite Pakistan player and he calls him his "ustaad". He also opened up about his bond with England’s former spin coach Saqlain Mushtaq, who is currently the head coach of the Pakistan team.
The stand-in skipper signed off by saying, “The one player I always loved and still love is Saeed Anwar, I loved his batting. I call him my ustaad (teacher). He's one of the greatest coaches I have ever worked with, definitely the best spin coach.”