Alex Hales, the explosive England opener, has officially retired from international cricket at the age of 34. Hales leaves behind an illustrious England career, marked by his contributions as a T20 World Cup winner, with his last game for England being their five-wicket victory over Pakistan at the MCG in November last year.
Hales has been in discussions with England’s management over the past nine months, trying to find a balance between bilateral commitments and his franchise contracts. Ultimately, he has decided to step away from the international game, but will continue to be available for short-form leagues around the world.
Alex Hales opens up on his international retirement
In a statement, Hales expressed his gratitude for his time with the national team, saying, “It has been an absolute privilege to have represented my country on 156 occasions across all three formats. l’ve made some memories and some friendships to last a lifetime and I feel that now is the right time to move on. Throughout my time in an England shirt, I’ve experienced some of the highest highs as well as some of the lowest lows. It’s been an incredible journey and I feel very content that my last game for England was winning a World Cup final.”
The clash between international and franchise commitments led to Hales opting out of England’s T20I series in Bangladesh earlier this year and later considering his future. He confirmed his decision to retire from international cricket to Rob Key, England’s managing director of men’s cricket.
Hales’ recent return to the England team in September last year came after a three-year exile, necessitated by Jonny Bairstow’s injury ahead of the World Cup. In his 15 T20Is after his return, Hales averaged 30.71 with a strike rate of 145.27, playing crucial innings during the T20 World Cup.
Although Hales was not in contention for this year’s 50-over World Cup, he would have been a key player in England’s T20 title defense in the Caribbean and the United States next year. His retirement opens up opportunities for emerging players like Will Jacks and Phil Salt.
Reflecting on his England career, Hales said, “Throughout the ups and downs, I’ve always felt a huge amount of support from my friends, family, and undoubtedly the best fans in world cricket. I look forward to continuing to play for Notts and experiencing more franchise cricket around the world.”
Alex Hales concludes his England career with 2419 ODI runs at an average of 37.79, including six centuries. He is among the three players who have scored over 2000 T20I runs for England, with a highest score of 116 against Sri Lanka at the 2014 World T20.
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