Moeen Ali is expected to knock back a bumper contract offer from Yorkshire and complete a return to Warwickshire at the end of the season.
The England all-rounder, 35, is coming to the end of a five-year deal he signed at Worcestershire in 2017 and is poised to leave New Road this winter after a 15-year association with the club. There has been strong interest in Moeen since 1 June – the date after which counties are allowed to speak to out-of-contract players – and a particularly enticing offer on the table from Yorkshire.
But while the presence of his cousin, Kabir Ali, on the coaching staff at Headingley and close friend Adil Rashid in the playing ranks is another pull, the Guardian understands Warwickshire is his preferred destination, despite a lower offer financially. If so – a three-year contract is yet to be signed and Yorkshire may yet try again – it would represent a poetic return for a player who still lives in south Birmingham but has long been considered the one who got away at Edgbaston.
Moeen came through the academy ranks at Warwickshire but left for Worcestershire in 2007 due to a lack of first-team opportunities – a move which paid off when stellar domestic form led to an England debut in 2014 and a three-format international career.
As well as county interest, Moeen is also considering lucrative offers to play in the new UAE T20 league and South Africa’s revamped tournament this winter. It would mean a packed schedule, however, with a T20 World Cup in Australia in October and Brendon McCullum, England’s Test head coach, hoping Moeen and Rashid make a return for the three-match Test series in Pakistan in December.