Alex Hales has been re-signed by the Sydney Thunder ahead of the Big Bash League 2021-22. The England opener will link up with his former national side coach Trevor Bayliss, who, in June, was revealed as the franchise’s coach for the coming three seasons.
Hales has been a prolific presence at the Sydney Sixers in the last two seasons, having aggregated 576 runs at 38.40 in 2019-20, before he topped the run-scoring charts last season with 543 runs at 38.78. The right-hander struck as many as 53 sixes across the two editions.
The 32-year-old hasn’t played for England since March 2019, having failed two recreational drugs tests in the lead-up to the 2019 World Cup. He was overlooked even during the home-summer earlier this year, when England announced a new-look limited-overs side against Pakistan following a Covid-19 outbreak among the original group.
Hales scored 482 runs at 43.81 for Nottinghamshire in the 2021 T20 Blast recently, striking at 178.51. He will now reunite with his former national side coach Trevor Bayliss, who last served England during the 2019 Ashes series, following the victorious World Cup campaign.
Big Bash League (@BBL) August 31, 2021
"The culture at Sydney Thunder, both on and off the field, is something special and I am excited to have the opportunity to be a part of it again," Hales said. "Over the last two seasons I have seen first-hand how this franchise is putting together a squad who believes they can win the BBL and that's the case this summer more than ever."
The Thunder have 14 players locked for now, with at least one more overseas signing to come. They’re yet to name their new captain, following Callum Ferguson’s departure, with Usman Khawaja being the front-runner for the role.
Overseas players will be required to undergo a two-week hard quarantine on their arrival in Australia due to the COVID-19 border restrictions in the country. The BBL 11 will get underway on December 5, with the final to be played on January 28.
Sydney Thunder squad: Jonathan Cook, Ben Cutting, Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales (England), Baxter Holt, Usman Khawaja, Nathan McAndrew, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain