The 34-year-old hopes he managed to inspire young British Asians to pick up a cricket bat after calling time on his Test career
The 34-year-old confirmed his immediate retirement from the game on Monday, after informing captain Joe Root and head coach Chris Silverwood of his decision last week.
Ali took 195 wickets and managed 2,914 runs across 64 Test matches representing his country in a seven-year international career.
Speaking after his decision was made public, he said he hopes to have made as big of an impact off the pitch as he did on it during his time as a Test international.
“I probably didn’t realise how big it is, but it is a huge thing,” he told The Guardian when asked about his role representing British Asians in an England shirt.
“It didn’t feel like a burden, but I did feel like there was a bigger purpose for me than just batting and bowling. There was a purpose of trying to inspire others.
“It always takes somebody to inspire you or [make you] say ‘if he can do it, so can I’. I hope there is someone out there who is thinking that. I certainly felt that when I first saw [South Africa’s] Hashim Amla on TV.
“It does take a little spark. I’d love in 10 years time, somebody to say ‘Moeen made it easier for me’.”
“I was thinking about the Ashes and how I would love to have gone back and done well there. But it’s such a long trip if I’m not ‘in it’ and I think it’d be very, very difficult,” he admitted.
While his Test career is over, the 34-year-old intends to continue playing the game in white-ball formats.
He was bought by the Chennai Super Kings for £700,000 for the 2021 Indian Premier League T20 competition and wants to win silverware there.
And Ali will “put everything” into helping England in the next two T20 World Cups and the 50-over competition in 2023.
“I’ve enjoyed Test cricket but that intensity can be too much sometimes and I feel like I’ve done enough of it and I’m happy and content with how I’ve done,” he concluded.