Having won the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup this summer, Moeen Ali took a trip down memory lane by returning to where his career began.

As part of the ECB Winners’ Trophy Tour, Moeen returned to Moseley Ashfield Cricket Club, Birmingham, where he played between the ages of nine and 15.

The 32-year-old has returned to his old club a few times since becoming a professional cricketer, but none have been as moving as this, returning with the World Cup trophy under his arm.

As he walked through the gates of the small ground and slowly meandered across the dank outfield to meet awe-inspired youngsters, it was easy to spot Moeen embrace a nostalgic moment of reflection.

“It was an amazing time here, actually some of the best days of my life – I played with my brothers here and all of my best friends too,” he said.

“For me what’s special is that the massive steps I took into becoming a first-class player happened here.

“As soon as I became a first-class cricketer unfortunately, I had to leave but it was such an amazing journey and I have great memories here.”

Moeen took part in a series of drills catching and fielding with several dozen young cricketers before everyone gathered in the pavilion for a Q&A.

Children of all ages looking to emulate the success of their local born and raised hero listened intently as he highlighted the importance of grassroots cricket and demonstrated the pathway from club to international level. 

Moeen hopes that by meeting and playing with the children he has inspired the next generation to follow in his footsteps.

He said: “I was here for six years, and those periods are obviously quite crucial years as a young cricketer. But I was lucky to have a coach who supported me all the way when I couldn’t get a lift, or I was struggling.

“The grassroots and the coaches are so important and make a massive difference in bringing on and shaping cricketers.

“Grounds like these are what makes cricketers, and the opportunity for the trophy to be is here is a great honour for the club and for myself.

“This place really helped me take that massive step forward and I want [the youngsters] to realise their potential and give them hope to recognise that one day they can play for England and hopefully play in a World Cup as well.

“As cricketers our job is to perform well to inspire the youngsters and everyone who wants to take up the game.”

To find out where to play cricket in your local area, head to ecb.co.uk/play