File photo of England’s Moeen Ali© AFP

England all-rounder Moeen Ali will be leading the side in the first T20I against Pakistan on Tuesday as designated captain Jos Buttler will miss the match due to an injury. Moeen, whose grandfather had moved to England from Pakistan after the second world war, has spoken ahead of the match about his feeling of leading the English national team in Pakistan. The Three Lions will play a 7-match T20I series in Pakistan, the first time they are visiting the country in 17 long years.

“Being captain, regardless of who it’s against, is a great honour,” Moeen said ahead of the match. “But to do it in Pakistan, coming back after so long… on top of that, having family who migrated from here back in the day, it’s amazing to lead the England side. It’s awesome,” he added.

“I feel like I represent my religion, parents, and everything. It’s a very proud moment for me and my family, my mum and dad, everybody. Everyone who I feel I represent is very happy for me,” he added.

Moeen had always wanted to play in Pakistan but never thought he would get this opportunity as England had last visited the country in 2005.

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“I’m somebody that wants to play cricket in every cricketing nation. Pakistan and Zimbabwe were the two I’ve really wanted to tour. It’s amazing that we’re here: it’s a big thing for England to come to Pakistan,” he added.

Moeen Ali has played 64 Tests, 121 ODIs and 55 T20Is for England so far.

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