Moeen Ali says playing behind closed doors feels too much like warm-up games – but is targeting an England Test return in time for the Ashes next winter.
England's off-spinning all rounder is one of few players to have experienced playing behind closed doors as he did along with Ravi Bopara for Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League just before its postponement due to coronavirus.
And he has warned just how hard it can be to produce your best in those circumstances.
"We played in the PSL the last two or three games with no one in the crowd and it was so bad,” said Moeen. “It’s different and it’s not quite the same.
“For players who are used to playing in front of big crowds you’ve gone from one extreme to the other with no-one there watching.
“It was very difficult to get yourself up for the game. It felt like those warm-up games you play before a big series. It’s not ideal, but it will probably have to be the case for a while.”
Moeen was playing in the T20 tournament instead of being on tour with England's Test team in Sri Lanka.
Despite returning to the one day and T20 sides in South Africa in February, his self imposed exile from Test cricket was continuing.
And while the experience of playing in a stadium in Karachi with no fans wasn't great, the extended break from the game has made it clear to him that he wants to play the lot if and when he can again.
“I did fall out of love with the longer format and I took a break from it to see if I wanted to play again or not,” he added.
“I have not played cricket for a while now, being at home and having the boredom of not playing, so any sort of cricket would be nice.
“For sure if I got the call tomorrow to play I would definitely put my hand up. I will be available and able to play any cricket now.
“I’ve got to play and get my place back, but I still back myself to get into the side at some stage. I’ve really missed playing cricket so I would definitely like to play again.”
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