It might have been one of the best decisions for the young Jamie Bynoe-Gittens to skip his cricket ambitions and turn to football.
England all-rounder Moeen Ali has been awarded OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his services to the game of cricket during the Queen’s birthday honours on Wednesday.
Moeen was included on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, in recognition of his 16 years in a professional cricket career including 225 appearances for his country in all formats. The 34-year-old announced his retirement from the Test cricket last year with 2,914 runs and 195 wickets from 64 Tests but still plays an important role in England’s limited-overs sides.
“It is obviously an honour and the more you think about it, the more you realise how nice it is and how rewarding it is,” ESPNcricinfo quotes Moeen Ali as saying.
He rose from a small cricket community in Sparkhill Park in Birmingham to making more than 200 appearances for his country across all formats.
“More than anything, I know it makes my parents happy and that’s the most important thing – one of the main reasons for accepting. It’s amazing and my family are really proud and happy,” he added.
Moeen has not always been pleased with being regarded as an ambassador for Britain’s Asian population.
“From the word ‘go’, as soon as I played for England, people labelled me as being a potential role model or role model. It is a big responsibility…But as time has gone on, you kind of accept it and deal with it a lot better,” he added.
“I think it’s more about the journey I’ve been on, my background, my upbringing and all that. Maybe the way I played a little bit and the way I go about my cricket, maybe that’s what people have liked or whatever,” said Moeen.
Moeen, who retired from Test cricket last year in September, added, “You have to accept it and realise you are probably a role model even though you don’t like saying it too much. You do inspire a lot of people, especially from the inner city and the people that can relate to you.
“I don’t like that term role model, to a certain extent, but I know my role and what I need to do,” he said.
(Inputs from ANI)