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News

Moeen Ali likely to miss Chennai Super Kings' opener against Kolkata Knight Riders

Allrounder is stranded in the UK, having failed to secure the visa necessary to travel to India for the IPL

Nagraj Gollapudi
22-Mar-2022
Moeen Ali goes downtown, Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2021 final, Dubai, October 15, 2021

Moeen Ali was central to CSK winning the IPL title in 2021  •  BCCI

Chennai Super Kings are likely to be without Moeen Ali for the IPL 2022 opener against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday. ESPNcricinfo understands that the England allrounder is stranded in the UK, having failed to secure the visa necessary to travel to India for the IPL.
It is learned that Moeen would need to arrive in Mumbai by Wednesday to stand a chance of playing his team's first match against 2021 runners-up Knight Riders. Considering that Moeen would need to undergo the mandatory three-day quarantine to enter the IPL bio-secure environment, Super Kings' management has accepted that the chances of him playing the opening match appear remote.
In a reply to a question on the allrounder's availability on Twitter, Aces Middle East, the sports management company that represents a number of cricketers including Moeen, said he hadn't been issued his visa yet.
If Moeen fails to make it, Super Kings could hand an IPL debut to New Zealand batter Devon Conway and pair him up with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa in the top order. The Super Kings will likely feel the pinch in their first match, considering Moeen's offspin would have been handy against Knight Riders' trio of left-handers: Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine.
Moeen, who was retained by Super Kings, as one of the four players, prior to the auction, played a key role in the side winning their fourth IPL title last year. He was the third-highest scorer for Super Kings in 2021, hitting 357 runs in 15 innings at an average of 25.50 and strike rate of 137.30. That Moeen fulfilled his role of the aggressor could be seen from the fact that he was fifth on the list of batters with most sixes, with his count at 19.
More than handy offspinner, Moeen also proved to be a key bowler, the highlight being his match-winning spell of 3 for 7 against Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in the initial part of IPL 2021.
Since then Moeen has retired from Test cricket, but he continues to excel in the shorter formats. At the inaugural Hundred, he led Birmingham Phoenix to the final and then played a significant role in England making the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. More recently, he was instrumental in Comilla Victorians winning the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
GMT 1445 The news piece was updated to include the tweet from the management company that represents Moeen.

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo