Samarnath Soory
17 Sep 2022 | 06:37 PM

Mott 'OK' with Stokes and Hales not being best mates

England's white-ball coach Matthew Mott backed Ben Stokes and Alex Hales to work for the team's goal to win the T20 World Cup

England white-ball head coach Matthew Mott felt that the personal rift between Ben Stokes and Alex Hales is not going affect England's dressing room environment at the T20 World Cup in Australia.

Stokes and Hales were involved in a fight outside a Bristol nightclub which saw Stokes face legal ramifications and found not guilty. However, both of them faced bans and fines by the Cricket Disciplinary Committee. 

The personal issues still remain as Stokes described Hales 'my friend at the time, Alex' in the documentary Phoenix from the Ashes.

Hales served a three-year ban from the England's national team after testing positive for a recreational drug in 2019 and returned to the side for the T20 World Cup in Australia starting next month.

Stokes has been rested for the seven-match T20I series against Pakistan starting next Tuesday. When asked about his possible clash with Hales recently, Stokes replied: "We've both got the same goal: to win World Cups."

Mott maintained Stokes' sentiment as he added that he is ready to deal with the friction between the duo.

"They might not be best mates and that's OK. I'm sure you work with colleagues all the time who aren't your best mate but you can work with them if you've got a common goal," Mott said.

"Ben's come out and stated that as well. He wants to win World Cups. I'm sure Alex does as well and we all do, so we try and pick the best players and if they end up becoming good mates again that's great; if not, as long as they're going towards that goal of winning the World Cup together then that's how teams function," he said.

Mott revealed that he had sought former England coach Trever Bayliss' advice over Hales' inclusion in the World Cup squad.

"I rang Trevor Bayliss around the time we were considering it and asked if he had any views. Obviously he was coach at the time and has worked with him at Sydney Thunder. He said he's had absolutely no problem with him at all, he's made mistakes but he's trying to get better. For me, that's it. Nobody's perfect - I'm certainly not - but if he's trying to get better and he's the best player, then we can work around it," Mott said.

England white-ball captain Jos Buttler also revealed that he had asked England's senior players before deciding on Hales.

"Like Jos said, we asked the senior players whether they had an issue. It was well before my time, so one of the things I said was 'mate, you start with a blank canvas'. He's been contrite and has shown he's trying to learn from his experiences," Mott said.

England will open their T20 World Cup campaign on October 22 against Afghanistan in Perth.

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