Moeen Ali has requested a break from Test cricket after being dropped from the England team and losing his all-format central contract.

The all-rounder had been contracted by England for all formats since 2014-15 but it was confirmed on Friday he had only received a white-ball deal for 2019-20.

Th news came after Moeen was left out of the squad for the second Ashes Test in August, having taken 3-172 and scored four with the bat across both innings of a humbling opening defeat to Australia.

It was revealed at the time Moeen would look to spend some time "recharging" before making his county return for Worcestershire.

But having starred in guiding reigning T20 Blast champions Worcestershire to a second successive Finals Day, he plans to prolong his Test absence.

"It's just to get away from it a little bit. I feel like I want to enjoy my batting and this will give me a bit of a break," Moeen told ESPNcricinfo.

"I want to spend some time with the family. I've been playing for England for five years and it's been quite tough.

"The intensity is obviously higher in Test cricket so this is just to give me a break and then we will see what happens after that.

"I'm not ruling out playing Test cricket in the future. I've had long chats and thought about it quite a lot. I just want to give myself a bit of time to refresh my batteries and see where it goes after that."

England captain Joe Root stated in August that the first Ashes Test was "certainly not the last we'll see of [Moeen]".

Moeen has taken 181 wickets across 60 Tests, but Ashley Giles, the managing director of England men's cricket, has no issue with his period of indefinite leave.

"For all the guys, not just Moeen, it's been a really challenging summer," Giles said.

"A World Cup and an Ashes back-to-back has had a massive effect on many of these guys psychologically, as much as physically.

"Some of those guys are still carrying [these issues] - one of them being Moeen.

"His experience in the first Test wasn't a great one, but that's cricket. He's has been a great servant for his team. That's why I encouraged him to leave that option open to come back.

"He might just need to go away and freshen up. But he's been a really good servant for this team and he's still relatively young."

Moeen Ali was left out of the England squad for the second Ashes Test against Australia and is now "recharging" rather than immediately returning to action with Worcestershire.

However, captain Joe Root insists the all-rounder will be back in an England shirt soon enough.

Moeen endured a tough start to the Ashes series as he took three wickets for 172 runs while scoring just four with the bat in a 251-run England defeat at Edgbaston.

And just as at the Cricket World Cup, where Moeen missed the final four matches – all wins – in England's triumph, he has been dropped from the team.

Rather than return to play for his county, though, Worcestershire confirmed on Tuesday that Moeen will first take some time out.

The county side's coach Alex Gidman said: "Mo is spending a little time away from the middle, recharging his batteries and putting in some quality practice time, which he feels he needs and we completely respect.

"He has had an intense schedule of international cricket involving the ICC World Cup and the start of the Ashes.

"Mo loves playing for Worcestershire and he gives a lift to everyone in the dressing room when he comes back and plays for us.

"We saw at Trent Bridge [in the Vitality Blast win over Notts Outlaws last month] what he gives to us and we look forward to when he returns soon."

England skipper Root added in a news conference: "I spent a good while chatting to Mo, making sure he understood where we're at in terms of getting him back to his best.

"[England want him to] go and play some county cricket and performing well for Worcester, as he proved last time around, coming into the India series and having a massive influence on it.

"There's no reason why he can't do the same again and force his way back into the squad. He's been a big part of English cricket. He's done some fantastic things in a Test shirt and it's certainly not the last we'll see of him.

"He's a fine cricketer, he's a great man and he gives so much to this team. I'm sure it won't be long before you see him back involved."

Josh Hazlewood said the competition within Australia's bowling attack is spurring him on in his bid to play in the second Ashes Test at Lord's.

Hazlewood took 3-34 from 15 overs as Australia – despite some resilient lower-order batting from Charlie Morris – restricted tour-match opponents Worcestershire to 201-9 declared on Thursday.

The paceman missed out on the first Test, with Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Pat Cummins preferred for the clash at Edgbaston, with Australia defeating England by 251 runs.

Worcestershire offered little resistance as Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc (2-56) ripped through the top order in the morning session on Thursday, though Joe Leach's side rallied in the afternoon before declaring.

Hazlewood's form may not be enough to force him into Justin Langer and Tim Paine's plans for Lord's, though the 28-year-old believes the competition in Australia's squad can only help them as they look to double their lead in the series.

"We've got three guys with proper air speed and three guys who seam and swing a bit," Hazlewood said. 

"That's what they've got six quicks for, to have all bases covered. It's just who's bowling the best leading into a particular Test for who gets the nod. It's great competition within the squad.

"I've come back from back-to-back stress fractures, so it could take a while to get back into the swing of things. I feel like I'm getting better and better with each ball and really improving.

"I've just played the one Test at Lord's, but I got used to the slope pretty quickly there and the bowling conditions seem pretty favourable at the moment so I'd love to get the opportunity."

Australia made 92-1 in the evening session, with Marcus Harris reaching 62 not out as the visitors took a 157-run lead into day three.

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