Finally, Alex Hales returned to the England team. England called the opener in place of Jonny Bairstow in the Pakistan tour and T20 World Cup squad as he was knocked out of the World Cup while playing golf. He played the last international match before the 2019 World Cup in the West Indies tour.
Leaving Hales out of that year’s World Cup was a big decision. Earlier, he tested positive for drugs twice. Ewin Morgan, the captain at the time, said the team’s confidence in Hales had been completely shattered. Apart from Morgan, several senior cricketers did not want Hales in the team, it was reported.
Recently, however, the situation has changed. Morgan retired from international cricket, Jos Buttler took charge. New coach Matthew Mott has arrived in limited overs, but Hales’ horn has not been torn. Out-of-form opener Jason Roy was dropped, but England looked to open with Bairstoke, with Phil Salt called in as an alternate opener.
Bairstow’s strange injury changed the situation. Bairstow is out indefinitely with a leg injury while playing golf. Hales was called after that. However, after announcing the World Cup squad, England’s boys’ cricket managing director Robert Key said there were no disciplinary reasons for not taking Hales. That dope test before the 2019 World Cup is not the only negative event in Hales’ career.
In the last Hundred title winner Trent Rockets scored 259 runs at a strike rate of 152.35. His opening partnership with David Malan was instrumental in Trent’s title win. Recently, he became the first batsman in England to complete 10,000 runs in T20.
Not only on the soil of England, Hales has also run regularly in foreign franchise leagues. Sydney Thunder has been playing in Australia’s Big Bash League since 2019. He scored 11 fifties and 1 century in 45 matches. T20 World Cup will be held in Australia next October-November. Hales’ experience of playing in the PSL will also be useful in the tour of Pakistan before this. England is going to tour Pakistan for the first time since 2005.
Hales has played 60 T20 Internationals so far, scoring 1644 runs, batting at an average of 31.01 and a strike rate of 136.66. He also holds the record of scoring the first century for England against Sri Lanka in 2014 World T20 in Chittagong. Hales’ unbeaten innings of 116 is the highest in England’s T20 International history so far.