Allen & Unwin has signed world rights to the autobiography of England and Worcestershire cricket player Moeen Ali.
Clare Drysdale, editorial director of Allen & Unwin UK, acquired the book from sports management company Aces Middle East. It will be published in October 2018.
Ali’s autobiography will trace his journey from backyard cricket to the county game and his first-class debut for Warwickshire as a teenager, through to his international debut at the relatively late age of 27. In recent years he’s become a stalwart of the England team and a superstar and folk hero in his own right, as exemplified in the summer of 2017 when his incredible run of form – with both the bat and the ball – led to the Player of the Series title in the South African Test series, a "record-breaking" 53-ball century against the West Indies and thousands of England fans chanting his name.
In addition to his life in cricket, the book will cover Ali’s upbringing in the tough Sparkhill neighborhood of Birmingham, the awakening at 18 that led him to become a devout Muslim and the challenges he has faced during his life and career. He will also discuss what it is like to be a high-profile British Muslim in post-Brexit Britain.
Ali said: "I never thought about doing a book but then I realised it would be a great way to tell people about why I’m so proud to be English and so proud to be a Muslim, and why I see no contradiction between those two things. I’m also looking forward to sharing the highs and lows of my career in cricket and thanking all the amazing people who helped me get to where I am today. I can’t wait to get started."
Drysdale said: "Moeen Ali was the stand-out English sportsman of summer 2017 and every time I saw him interviewed following yet another match-winning hat-trick or swashbuckling century I realised I wanted to know more about him and his inspiring path to the highest level of international cricket. His autobiography promises to be about much more than just cricket and we can’t wait to publish it on the Allen & Unwin list next year."
Ali’s autobiography will be written with the assistance of the award-winning sports journalist Mihir Bose. It will be published in hardback and e-book in October 2018, with a paperback to follow in summer 2019.