England all-rounder Moeen Ali has said he “set out in cricket to make friends” following suggestions he is “too nice” for his own good.
The 30-year-old suffered a torrid winter with England with bat and ball that culminated in him being dropped for the final Test of the New Zealand tour – a decision he said he felt “relieved” by.
Speaking to the Guardian at the IPL, where he is yet to play a match for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Moeen said: “When I didn’t play the last Test in New Zealand it was a relief. I could have been dropped three Tests earlier – I probably should have been…
“It was almost like: ‘Right, now I can actually work on my game and mentally have a break from the pressure of playing.’ When it’s my time again, I will be ready.”
Asked whether being too nice has affected the role he’s been given by England – he has been moved up and down the order regularly and been made both the first-and second-choice spinner – or otherwise contributed to his dip in form he said: “I have been told in the past that’s my downfall but I’d rather be too nice to be honest. I set out in cricket to make friends. I’d rather people say they enjoyed playing with him and he’s a good guy, not he’s a good player but a bit of a so and so.”