Family comes first in this England team and that’s probably for the best

first_img Jos Buttler could be given leading role for England against Afghanistan Topics Read more Sure enough, at 6am her waters broke. We have a five-year-old son, Abu Bakr, so we knew what to expect. But this time I got a bit of a panic on. Firuza was in a lot of pain and for some reason the 20-minute drive to the hospital seemed to take an hour, with every bump along the way making things worse.Thankfully everything was OK and our daughter, Haadhiya, was born. My wife chose the name – it means “a gift” and also “guidance to righteousness” – and she had actually kept it from me that we were expecting a girl. When I was told, it softened me instantly and we feel so blessed. Babies are born every day but truly, each one is a little miracle.The midwives and all the staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham have been amazing throughout and we cannot thank them enough. Over the past few days there has been an explosion of pink at home – I may have to get used to this – and a lot of family coming and going.The England management have been supportive too, allowing me extra time at home. Family comes first in this team and that’s probably for the best, because there are a lot of babies appearing. It’s been funny how the dressing-room chat has become a bit more grown-up, and not just the usual rubbish. During this time I have remained available for selection. Against Bangladesh in Cardiff, Eoin Morgan took me aside to say that, with weather around and the straight boundaries short, the decision was to go with one spinner – Adil Rashid – and I would miss out. The one thing about this England one-day team is, I always feel that decisions are made solely for the team’s benefit.When you know that, it means any call which affects you personally you can accept. So despite bowling well and picking up three wickets in the previous game against Pakistan, I didn’t question him or ask for an explanation. That is credit to the environment Morgs has created and his standing as captain.After rejoining the squad on Wednesday evening, still buzzing from events earlier in the day, I was told the next morning we would be unchanged against West Indies. Obviously as players we want to play every game. But when you do miss out, I strongly believe the job is to not sulk and make things uncomfortable for those picked or the captain. Obey the order and prepare to play regardless, just in case. This is especially important in a tournament.And you can’t argue with the result. We were very professional on the day. The toss was big but you still have to find the right lengths early. Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer really set the tone here. I think Jofra is giving the team a lot of confidence right now, not just with his pace but his control. He’s only going to get better. Joe Root bowled nicely too – he works on his variations a lot – and then played beautifully from opener. It’s a sign of our depth that, with injuries to Morgs and Jason Roy, my fellow Brummie Chris Woakes stepped up from No 7 to No 3 and helped put on 105 for the second wicket. We feel like one of those teams that, whatever happens, we can find a way to overcome it.Woakesy and I met in our early teens and he has always been a good cricketer. But I believe he has transformed himself into a brilliant one in the past few years. He is such a calming influence and I can confirm the reports that he is one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet. Share on Pinterest Sportblog … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The Spin: sign up and get our weekly cricket email. The injuries have put the whole squad on alert for the Afghanistan game at Old Trafford on Tuesday Share on WhatsApp Cricket World Cup 2019 The injuries have put the whole squad on alert for the Afghanistan game at Old Trafford on Tuesday. It will be a used pitch, so I would hope a second spinner is required. Rash isn’t the type to say he is No 1 and, in fact, he admitted the other day he has been missing me out in the middle.People have questioned if his shoulder is OK but from my perspective the ball looks to be coming out nicely still. Had a couple of catches been held off his bowling – Mohammad Hafeez at Trent Bridge and Andre Russell in Southampton – there would be less talk about this.We don’t take Afghanistan lightly. They have some dangerous cricketers – Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi are world class – and very passionate supporters. In five to 10 years’ time I believe they are going to be a genuine force in world cricket, right up there with the best teams.So, while they haven’t got the results so far, there is no danger of us thinking we just have to rock up to get the win. Share on Twitter England cricket team Support The Guardian Listen Moeen Ali Cricket Share via Email Share on Facebook Since you’re here… England win again, rain delays and autocorrect v cricket – The Spin podcast Share on Messenger comment Cricket can produce some amazing feelings on the field and I have been lucky enough to experience a few along the way. But this past week has been a reminder that, even midway through a home World Cup, nothing can beat the moment your child comes into the world.To say it has been a hectic time would be an understatement. On Tuesday evening I was due to drive to Southampton for England training before the West Indies game. But both my wife, Firuza, and I had a sense things might be about to happen on that front so I texted our team manager, Phil Neale, to say I was going to hang back. Share on LinkedIn Reuse this contentlast_img read more