T20 World Cup 2022 : “I was quite firm and forceful”

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England opener Alex Hales revealed that he was upset about his initial exclusion from the T20 World Cup squad and firmly questioned managing director Robert Key about the same. Hales stated that he wanted answers to his omission despite performing well.

Although England overlooked Hales from the initial squad, Jonny Bairstow’s untimely injury cleared his path. The opening batter remains in line to play his first international fixture since 2019 in the upcoming seven-game T20 series against Pakistan and has a chance to win the World Cup in Australia.

Hales had received a 21-day suspension for testing positive for recreational drug use. He had failed to make a comeback to the national setup since, missing England’s 2019 ODI World Cup triumph.

Alex Hales has also been added to our squads for the #T20WorldCup and IT20 tour of Pakistan 🏏

Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Hales said he asked Key whether they genuinely considered him for a return and affirmed that his performance rendered selection.

He said:

“I was quite firm and forceful when I rang him. I wanted to know if there was a genuine chance of me playing or whether they were just saying it to the media, so I was quite forceful. I said ‘if we’re talking purely cricket, I feel like I should be in the squad”. I had nothing to lose, did I?”

The Nottinghamshire batter admitted thinking he would never represent England again, but is firm on making the most of his second chance. He added:

“I did think that the chance would not come again, for sure. At times I felt like I wouldn’t get this chance again. I felt like I’d been playing the best cricket of my career over those three years as well, so to get this chance again at this time is something I’m really proud of and something I’m really looking forward to. I feel like I can help push this team forward.”

Despite not playing international cricket in over three years, the Middlesex-born player is England’s third-highest run-getter in T20Is. His 1502 runs is also the most in the Big Bash League (BBL) since October 2019. He accumulated 259 runs in nine games, striking at 152.35 at The Hundred this year.

“Since giving up red-ball cricket, my numbers have been a lot better” – Alex Hales

Alex Hales playing for the Trent Rockets in The Hundred. (Credits: Getty)
Alex Hales playing for the Trent Rockets in The Hundred. (Credits: Getty)

The right-handed batter also reflected that he is a much better T20 batter than before and that focusing on one format made things easier. He said:

“One of the more frustrating things has been knowing how much better a T20 player I am now compared to when I played before. Since giving up red-ball cricket my numbers have been a lot better than they were. Just focusing on one format has been a game-changer has made me a lot better.”

With Jos Buttler under an injury cloud, the veteran could open alongside Phil Salt in the first T20I against Pakistan in Karachi on Tuesday, September 20.

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Author: ntotb

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