'Lost his head': England bowler's fall from grace hits 'sad' new low

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Startling video has shown axed England spinner Moeen Ali bowling pace in County cricket.

The off-spinner paid the price for England’s loss to Australia in the first Ashes Test, making way for left-armer Jack Leach.

And on Monday his fall from grace took a bizarre turn as he resorted to bowling seam-up for Worcestershire.

Moeen Ali resorted to bowling pace. Image: Wisden

Moeen had figures of 0-109 at one stage against Northamptonshire, abandoning his off-spin for two overs of pace.

He switched back to off-spin and managed to claim three late wickets, finishing with 3-126.

The cricket world was rather confused as video of Moeen bowling pace went viral on social media.

Moeen recharges batteries

Last week, Moeen took a short break from cricket to "recharge his batteries", Worcestershire coach Alex Gidman said.

He was dropped after a poor performance in the opening Test at Edgbaston where he picked up only three wickets in two innings (1-42 and 2-130) and did not score more than four runs.

"Mo is spending a little time away from the middle, recharging his batteries and putting in some quality practice time which he feels he needs, and we completely respect," Gidman said in a statement.

"He has had an intense schedule of international cricket involving the ICC World Cup and the start of the Ashes.

"Mo loves playing for Worcestershire and he gives a lift to everyone in the dressing room when he comes back and plays for us. We look forward to when he returns soon."

Moeen Ali switched back to offies. (Photo by Andy Kearns/Getty Images)

Moeen is the world's leading Test wicket-taker over the past 12 months, with 48 scalps in 10 matches at an average of 25.27.

However, he has struggled for form in recent outings and was dropped during the World Cup over concerns about his batting.

In Tests, he has registered seven single-figure scores in his past nine innings, with his career average dipping below 30.

England captain Joe Root said Moeen, a veteran of 60 Tests, could regain his place.

"As he proved last summer, coming into that India series having a massive influence on it, there's no reason why he can't go back and do the same again, and try and force his way back into the squad," Root told reporters.

"You know, he's been a big part of English cricket, he's done some fantastic things in a Test shirt. And it's certainly not the last we'll see of him, he's a fine character, a great man and gives so much to this team.

"I'm sure that it won't be long until you see him back involved."

with agencies