Moeen Ali insists his awkward on-air exchanges with Alastair Cook during BT Sport’s Ashes coverage were ‘massively taken out of context’, after the all-rounder took aim at his former captain’s leadership skills
- Moeen Ali and Alastair Cook were involved in a number of awkward exchanges
- All-rounder Moeen defended Joe Root, while hitting out at former captain Cook
- But he has now looked to clarify the comments, saying they were ‘out of context’
- Speaking to The Telegraph, Moeen says he was simply pointing out differences
Moeen Ali has insisted his awkward on-air exchanges with Alastair Cook during BT Sport’s coverage of the Ashes were ‘massively taken out of context’, saying that he gets on ‘really well’ with his former England captain.
The duo were brought in to provide expert opinions on the chastening series in Australia, which the tourists lost 4-0, and Moeen appeared to defend Joe Root’s ability as a leader while also taking a swipe at fellow pundit Cook.
On the first day of the fourth Test, Moeen cracked a joke about Cook never giving throw-downs to his players, in reference to how Root had helped out during net sessions in Sydney with several coaches absent.
Moeen Ali has insisted his digs at Alastair Cook (right) live on TV were ‘taken out of context’
Moeen (left) took aim at Cook’s leadership skills, leaving his former captain visibly bemused
He described the current skipper as having more of an ’emotional attachment’ with his peers, to which Cook asked: ‘Are you just criticising my captaincy?’
Moeen responded by admitting he was ‘a little bit’, but has now looked to clear up any controversy by explaining in a recent interview that he was purely pointing out how the respective leaders went about their duties differently.
Speaking to The Telegraph, he said: ‘It was massively taken out of context. I was just saying the differences between him and Rooty really.
Moeen has looked to clear up the exchange by saying he was simply pointing out differences
‘It doesn’t mean Rooty is the right way or the wrong way or Cookie is the right or wrong way. We get on really well.’
There was another difficult conversation for both seasoned internationals during the series, however. Moeen was asked if there are any players in the current set-up who could coach in the future, and singed out the importance of ’empathy’.
He said: ‘But there are also some guys who you think: “Coaching’s not for them. He hasn’t got the patience for it, the empathy for it.”‘
At that point, he appeared to gesture his hand towards Cook on the studio sofa, with his colleague interrupted by saying: ‘Just another dig’.
Cook and Moeen are pictured during the first Test of England’s series against Pakistan in 2015
Host Matt Smith invited the guests to air any further grievances, and Cook finished the encounter by adding: Cook added: ‘I’m not sure how to take this anymore.
‘I’ve just come back from a nice holiday and I’ve walked straight into Moeen Ali off his long run.’
Moeen has also admitted he is concerned about the burden placed on the shoulders of Root, with the captain feeling the strain of leading the Test cricket side during the pandemic – and suffering a horror setback after the Ashes humiliation.
Moeen says England must be careful to avoid their skipper Root (above) becoming exhausted
‘It’s completely different to white-ball stress. It’s not easy,’ he added.
‘That’s where Rooty is great – to perform as an individual and captain with bubbles and all that stuff is very, very difficult.
‘But you want to be careful. You don’t want to get to a point where Rooty is exhausted and can’t carry on doing it.’