Alex Hales, who was one of England’s star performers in the T20 World Cup last year and played a pivotal role in the Three Lions triumphing, has reportedly opted out of the three-match T20I series against Bangladesh next month in order to participate in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Playing in the Bangladesh ODIs would have meant Hales missing a significant chunk of the forthcoming PSL edition — and in turn a good chunk of cash — but according to Telegraph sport, the 34-year-old opener has chosen to opt out of the three T20Is against Bangladesh, instead deciding to feature in the entirety of PSL 8, where he has a £145,000 contract with Islamabad United.
Hales’ decision to lean towards PSL, however, according to the report, will have no bearing on his T20I future.
“England are highly understanding of the situation and have not put pressure on Hales,” the report said.
“Rob Key and Mo Bobat, England’s managing director and performance director, have taken a pragmatic, flexible approach to overseas leagues.
“They recognise that it is unfair to demand that players without the certainty of national contracts lose money to represent their country and that players going back on previously agreed franchise deals could jeopardise their future appeal to sides too.”
On Monday (January 30), Hales, in an official statement, confirmed that he’ll be returning to the PSL this season and stated that he was buzzing to play in front of the home fans in Rawalpindi.
“The first time I came to play PSL in Pakistan was with Islamabad United. This is my 5th season with the franchise. Everyone talks about how we operate like a family and how everyone looks after each other. Last season, the franchise stood by me in a tough situation and respected my decision hence I had no qualms about returning for the playoff games.
“This year as well, I have made myself available because I love this team and the free brand of cricket we play at Islamabad United. The thing that excites me the most is playing in Rawalpindi this year. I got an opportunity to play a few matches at the venue, it is one of the best batting pitches. So I am looking forward to it. Want to experience Islamabad’s home crowd as well, I have heard they are absolutely electric,” Hales said in an official statement released by the ISU franchise.
Hales ended PSL 7 as Islamabad’s top-scorer, amassing 355 runs at an average of 44.37 and SR of 147.30.
The eighth edition of the PSL will be played between February 13 and March 19.