No need to clear the air with Ben Stokes as we focus on World Cup – Alex Hales


Alex Hales denied he needed to clear the air with England captain Ben Stokes but revealed they have had a sit down in Australia to make sure they are on the same page.

The pair were once close and both involved in a street brawl outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017 that led to Stokes being charged and then acquitted of affray.

While discussing the incident in his documentary ‘Phoenix from the Ashes’, Stokes referred to Hales as “my friend at the time, Alex” and last month hinted their relationship remained frosty when quizzed about their association off the field, saying only: “We’ve both got the same goal to win World Cups.”

Ben Stokes (left) and Alex Hales were once close (David Davies)

Hales recently returned to the England fold after more than three years in international exile, having been discarded on the eve of their 2019 World Cup triumph following a positive recreational drugs test.

White-ball captain Jos Buttler claimed the recall had the backing of all players and he presided as talks were held between Hales and Stokes upon their arrival into Australia ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Hales and Stokes stood alongside one another during the national anthems ahead of the first of three T20s against Australia in Perth before briefly batting together in England’s eight-run victory.

“We’ve sat down and had a chat,” Hales said. “It’s been as good as gold. At the end of the day, we’re here to win a World Cup. I think that’s the most important thing.

“We’ve had a really good chat and things have been fine. There’s been no air clearing at all, we just sat down with Jos and said our goal is to win the World Cup. It’s been really good – really smooth.”

Jonny Bairstow’s broken leg paved the way for a comeback for Hales, who is favourite to partner Buttler at the top of the order for England’s first World Cup match against Afghanistan on October 22 in Perth.

Hales vindicated his selection ahead of Phil Salt on Sunday by top-scoring with 84 off 51 balls, admitting afterwards he had a few butterflies before going out to bat.

“It was a weird one,” he said. “I hadn’t got nervous for a long time. I don’t know what it was. I put it down to jet lag or maybe the fact that’s it’s heading into a huge six weeks for me.

“It’s something I didn’t see happening a few months ago, especially with the firepower at the top of the order and to get this chance, I’m just really keen to make the most of it and enjoy myself.

“It’s just a shame I haven’t been around the last three years because I feel I’ve been playing the best cricket of my life. I’ve got some lost time to make up for.”

As for whether the next few weeks represent the biggest of his career, he added: “I think it will be right up there.

“I want to play with a smile, hopefully get some good scores and push as hard as I can to hopefully win a World Cup.”

England travelled to Canberra on Monday afternoon ahead of this week’s double header at the Manuka Oval, with the second T20 against Australia taking place on Wednesday evening.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here