Moeen ready to lead at World Cup if Buttler absent

Moeen Ali catches the ball
Moeen Ali has won 288 caps for England across three formats [Getty Images]

Moeen Ali says he is ready to lead England at the Twenty20 World Cup if Jos Buttler misses part of the tournament on paternity leave.

Captain Buttler’s third child is due imminently, with England playing their World Cup opener against Scotland in Barbados on 4 June.

Vice-captain Moeen has previously led England 12 times across T20s and one-day internationals.

“I feel I’ve captained enough for England,” Moeen told BBC Sport. “Where he leaves, I just pick it up and then when he comes back he just takes over again.”

England hope to get their series against Pakistan under way at Edgbaston on Saturday, after the first match at Headingley was washed out on Wednesday.

They are then due to play in Cardiff on Tuesday and at The Oval on Thursday, before leaving for the Caribbean on 31 May.

Wicketkeeper Buttler has said he will be at the birth, even if it means missing a portion of England’s World Cup defence.

All-rounder Moeen added: “Whatever will happen, will happen. It’s not really difficult, because we speak often, me and Jos. We’re on the same page.”

Along with Buttler, Moeen is one of only four players in this England squad that played in the 50-over World Cup success of 2019 and again when the T20 title was won in Australia in 2022. Mark Wood and Adil Rashid are the other two.

At 36, Moeen has a one-year England central contract that expires in the autumn. He has retired from Test cricket and says this World Cup could be the end of his international career.

“If I'm playing well, I want to carry on playing,” he said. “I've never put a number on it.

“It could be at the World Cup if I'm not playing so well, or whatever it is, and I decide ‘OK, this is the time’.

“There's no time on it. If I'm playing really well, and my body's good, then I want to carry on playing for as long as I can.”

Following the abandonment in Leeds, Jofra Archer will again try to make his England comeback in Birmingham. The pace bowler has not played international cricket since last March following a recurrence of an elbow injury.

Liam Livingstone has also recovered from a knee injury and is likely to be available, but Mark Wood is struggling with his own knee problem.

Fast bowler Wood will still be named in England’s final World Cup squad of 15 when it is confirmed in time for Saturday’s deadline.