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England apologise to Moeen Ali over handling of India Test series exit


England head coach Chris Silverwood has apologised for the way Moeen Ali’s departure from India was communicated and says the team management are “happy to own that decision”.

Captain Joe Root said in a post-match press conference that the all-rounder had “chosen” to leave the tour after the second Test in Chennai, his first appearance in 18 months. It later became clear that Moeen was actually taking up a pre-determined period of rest, which has been allocated to all multi-format players this winter, and it is understood Root sought his teammate out to explain the error.

Speaking on Wednesday, Silverwood sought to fully clarify the situation. “First of all we’re sorry if the impression we gave yesterday was that Moeen’s being treated different to other people,” he said.

“He isn’t, I can guarantee you of that; the decision was ours, as it was with Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood. We’re happy to own that decision.”

Silverwood did admit that the idea of staying out for the remainder of the series had been broached with the 33-year-old, while accepting his personal circumstances made it difficult. As well as having a young family at home, Moeen has spent 20 days in room-based quarantine since the start of the trip, having tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival in Sri Lanka last month.

“The question was posed to him. He was asked, but ultimately we felt it was the right decision for him to go home,” he said. “It was a unique situation with Mooen, he’d spent so long in isolation, getting Covid out in Sri Lanka, and with how he just broke back into the team.

“We touched base with Mo last night, as did Joe. He’s fine, he understands that we’ve got his best interests at heart and we’re trying to look after him, the same as the other players. These are strange times we’re in and we have to look after our players.”



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