Alex Hales hoping to discuss England future after season finishes
Alex Hales says he is “hoping to sit down” with the England team management in the next couple of months to discuss his international future.
The Nottinghamshire batsman hasn’t played for England since before the 2019 World Cup, when Eoin Morgan’s team were rocked by the Guardian’s revelation that he was serving a 21-day ban for recreational drug use.
Since then, England’s white-ball captain has reiterated that time is still needed for Hales to rebuild the lost trust with England, and the opener confirmed, speaking to Sky Sports Cricket before Notts Outlaws’ T20 Blast quarter-final against Leicestershire Foxes, that he has had only a “small amount of dialogue” in recent times.
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“I’m hoping to sit down with [the England management] in the next couple of months,” he said. “There’s been a small amount of dialogue but nothing set in stone. At the moment I just want to enjoy my cricket with Notts, and if I can repeat the winter I had last year then hopefully it gives me a chance. We’ll see what happens in the next few months.”
Morgan has come under pressure from a number of pundits and ex-players over his continued exclusion of Hales, with the Notts man confirming he was “not entirely sure” what more he needed to do to regain Morgan’s trust. With a T20 World Cup in India set for 2021, time is running out for the explosive hitter to be reintegrated into the fold.
“He said about there being a certain amount of time needed, which is understandable, but we’re coming up to two years now, that’s a very long time in a professional sportsman’s career,” he said. “Hopefully there’s a chance it can happen and it’s going to come through sitting down with those guys and keep performing well.”
The frustration for Hales is magnified for two reasons. Firstly, he missed out on playing a part in England’s glorious World Cup-winning campaign: “You want to use missing such a huge moment in this country’s cricketing history to spur yourself on to make sure you want to get back into that set-up. I’m trying to use it both ways, try not it dwell on it but use it to make myself a better person and cricketer.”
And secondly because he has rarely been in better form than since his axing. He was the second leading run-scorer at the 2019/20 Big Bash League, and had the best average of any player to play more than one innings at the 2020 Pakistan Super League. He feels he was “playing the best cricket” of his life in that period, but has struggled somewhat in the T20 Blast, scoring just 164 runs in eight innings in the group stages of the competition.
“The last 12 months for me have been really successful,” he said. “I really enjoyed my winter with Sydney Thunder and with Karachi as well, I was probably playing the best cricket of my life. Maybe that break hasn’t done me the world of good, but I’m really getting back into it now and hopefully there’s more of the same this winter.”