Alex Hales Called As Jonny Bairstow’s Replacement for T20I World Cup 2022

Alex Hales As Jonny Bairstow's Replacement
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Alex Hales has been recalled by England for the first time since being dropped before the 2019 ODI World Cup. He has been picked up as Jonny Bairstow’s Replacement for the men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, as well as the prior tour to Pakistan, which begins next week.

Hales, 33, was allegedly close to being recalled for the original squads as the selection panel explored its possibilities to replace Jason Roy, who was discarded after a string of poor performances. The opportunity occurred again following Bairstow’s unusual incident last week, which has left him out for several months after fracturing his leg while slipping on a golf course.

Hales’ form has long deserved another chance at the international level. He was a standout player for Trent Rockets, last week’s men’s Hundred victors, with 259 runs at a strike rate of 152.35, including an agenda-setting opening pair with Dawid Malan, and he became the first England player to reach 10,000 runs in the T20 format during the competition.

Many of his runs came in overseas franchise leagues, including the Big Bash League, in which he has played 45 matches for Sydney Thunder since 2019, scoring 11 half-centuries and a century. With the World Cup taking place in Australia in October and November, Hales’ experience was crucial in his comeback. And, as England returns to Pakistan for the first time since 2005, Hales brings with him extensive knowledge of the conditions there, having played in the PSL since 2018.

Since his debut in 2011, he has played 60 T20Is, averaging 31.01 with a strike rate of 136.65. He became the first England player to record a T20I century in 2014, when he blasted a match-winning 116 not out from 64 balls against Sri Lanka in Chattogram at the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.

The return came after a significant shift in team management’s attitude toward Hales, notably in the aftermath of Eoin Morgan’s retirement. Following the discovery that Hales had failed two tests for recreational drugs prior to the 2019 World Cup, the former England captain was vehemently opposed to his return, accusing him of “total contempt” for the squad’s ideals and causing “a lack of trust between Alex and the team.”

Hales was also involved in the September 2017 nightclub incident in Bristol that resulted in Ben Stokes’ arrest and subsequent prosecution, and he made news again last year when Azeem Rafiq stated during the DCMS hearings that Hales had called his black Labrador “Kevin” in recognition of a racial slur.

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