ESPNcricinfo understands that Andrew Strauss, the director of England cricket, contacted Moeen and his representatives today to discuss his involvement in the tournament after papers were lodged to confirm his inclusion in the auction on Thursday.
While Strauss made it clear the final decision was up to Moeen, he did express his concerns over the volume of cricket such an IPL stint could commit Moeen to in addition to his international commitments. As a result, Moeen decided to withdraw.
England are currently playing their second of 17 Tests scheduled for 2016, with Moeen likely to play a prominent role in all of them. He is also likely to be included in the World T20 squad. After a long summer – broken from the winter’s tours only by the few weeks in April and May when the IPL will be contested – England head to Bangladesh in September and then, having moved on to India, do not return until a few days before Christmas.
Strauss has previously suggested he was keen for England players to gain experience from such high-profile T20 tournaments. But given Moeen’s current selection in all three formats of the game, it was decided that a balance had to be made.
Moeen is understood to be happy with the decision to withdraw from the IPL and gratified that Strauss sees him as such an important part of England’s long-term plans. (Courtesy Cricinfo)