Ben Stokes offered welcoming words for Alex Hales after his return to England's squad was confirmed after a long break, stating the duo share the same ambition of lifting trophies with the national team. Stokes went on to label Hales as one of the world's best and his ability to win crucial games.
Alex Hales will finally be making his way back to the England dressing room after three long years, having been added to their World T20 squad as well as the contingent set to play T20Is against Pakistan ahead of the tournament. The opener had been an integral part of the team's white-ball setup under Eoin Morgan but had failed tests for recreation drugs twice. The second incident came just ahead of the World Cup in 2019, leading to his sudden exclusion from the side and an indefinite exile that continued to date.
Meanwhile, Hales also is said to have a cold relationship with the country's Test skipper and a senior member of the T20 side, Ben Stokes. The pair had been involved in a bar fighting incident in 2017 where the latter was taken into police custody after the brawl even as Hales abandoned him and went off golfing in the morning. When asked to comment on Alex's return to the England team and the rift in their relationship, Stokes sidestepped drama with a straightforward answer as a team man.
"My goal, Alex’s goal and everyone else’s goal who is part of that squad is to win the World Cup,” he was quoted as saying by cricket365.
“We’ve both got the same goal to win World Cups.”
Hales' recent inclusion was borne out of a leg injury for Jonny Bairstow while playing golf, thus ruling him out of the marquee event. However, the 33-year-old's form and achievement more than warrant a place in the national squad, especially given his experience in T20 cricket. Alex has over 350 T20s to his name scoring over 10,000 runs at a phenomenal strike rate of 147.58. He has been one of the most sought-after players in the Big Bash League, tallying 926 runs across the last two seasons and also managed five 35-plus scores in nine innings at the recently concluded Hundred.
“Alex is definitely one of the best T20 players in the world and unfortunately with what happened with Jonny we had to call another player up. Alex is definitely one of the guys that bowlers don’t want to be bowling at in the T20 format,” added Stokes.
For England, Hales has managed 1,644 runs in 60 T20Is averaging over 30 and could prove to be a key player with Jason Roy also left out of the squad.
“When it comes down to the big moments in games and World Cup games, knockout games, you want your best players there to be taking that pressure on and he certainly is one of those," Stokes concluded.