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Players to look out for in 2021: Alex Hales

Alex Hales
Alex Hales
©Reuters
 

2021 will see the rearranged T20I World Cup, in November, and all eyes will be on the performances of the white-ball players in ODIs, T20Is and domestic and franchise cricket, from here on in.

If you were looking at players to look out for this time last year, for the previously scheduled T20I World Cup, you would have been better off going on the internet to discover new casinos 2021 at CasinoViking than predict that our first player in the series ‘Players to look out for in 2021’ would be England’s Alex Hales, after his roller-coaster career.

The Rise

Alex Hales was the first T20I centurion for England and showed promising signs, at an early age of 16, when he struck 55 runs off a single over in a Cricket Idol T20 tournament at Lord’s that comprised of 3 no balls. This was just the start as he carried his cricketing abilities to trials with Nottinghamshire CCC, in 2007. In his second appearance for the county, he impressed with a score of 218. A few more consistent performances for the county earned him a two year contract with Nottinghamshire until the end of the 2009 season.  

He came to the ECB National selectors’ attention, after his blistering knock of 150 runs off 102 balls playing against Worcestershire, at Trent Bridge, in the Pro40 2009 tournament, on 29 August 2009.  There was no looking back for the right-handed batsman thereafter, as he produced decent performances for his side in the Natwest T20 challenge in the coming seasons.

His maiden call-up for the senior England T20I side, came in August 2011, against India where he registered a duck, off 2 balls faced. However, he gave impressive performances in the following series against West Indies. England recorded their highest successful run chase in T20I history and Hales hitting a score of 99, falling short of a hundred by just 1 run. As a result, he was picked for the T20I World cup squad of 2012 and produced top performances with the bat. The pick of his career, in T20I, came in the World Cup 2014, where scored a lightening quick unbeaten 116 against Sri Lanka and stitched a 152 run partnership with Eoin Morgan to set a record for 3rd wicket partnership in a T20I World Cup.

He remained a regular in the English outfit for the T20I and gained his ODI call up in 2014. After a few dismal outings in 2015, he was overlooked for the most part of 2015 World Cup played in Australia. However, as England decided to reinvent their game post World Cup 2015, he became one of the mainstays in the side. Although there was a tough competition for the top 3 positions, in the English batting line-up, with the likes of Bairstow, Roy and Root all giving consistent performances, Hales managed to keep his spot in the playing eleven.

The Fall:

When cricket for Hales was in all its glory he was embroiled in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub, in September 2017, along with Ben Stokes. This resulted in a ban for 6 white ball matches for Alex Hales as decided by the ECB Cricket Disciplinary commission. However, after serving a two-match man, the other 4 were suspended.

He made a come back soon into the England side and produced a scintillating knock of 147, off just 92 deliveries, in the third ODI against Australia on their 2018 tour of England. His consistency with the bat throughout the tour, meant his number 3 spot was all but fixed in the England side. He was optimistic of delivering a remarkable run in the upcoming 2019 world cup.

It was looking all rosy for Alex Hales until April 2019, when Hales tested positive for a recreational drug for the second time and had to lose his spot in the England side for the World Cup 2019. Not only this, he was pulled out of the Notthinghamshire side for the Royal London One Day Cup. Reacting to the incident, the England captain Eoin Morgan was quoted saying, “In terms of what that looks like, practically, it's human nature, it's about developing trust. I don't think you can put a time limit on gaining back that trust, and that's not just with me, that's with every member of the squad, the backroom staff, the selectors. And that does take time. It's actually not that long ago that it happened. What happened was actually quite considerably harmful to the environment, which obviously led to the breakdown in trust between Alex and our players, so to say how long that will take to regain… we don't know, but certainly the door is still open for that trust to be built back up."

England won the World Cup 2019 and all the dreams looked shattered for Alex Hales at the cost of drug abuse. He could not immediately make it to the England side as it looked quite settled after the heroics in the World Cup campaign. The career for one of the best white ball batsman for England  looked to be dwindling but he had different plans to execute.

 

The Rise Again:

Following a dull and forgettable English summer for himself personally, he was signed up to play for the Sydney Thunder for the 2019-2020 Big bash league season, towards the end of the year. Just when the cricket Pundits were turning their backs on him, he made a phenomenal come back scoring 576 runs in the season, at an astonishing strike rate of 146.94. His role was instrumental in Sydney Thunder reaching playoff eliminator against eventual winners, Melbourne Stars. This was a sign that Alex Hales was never out of touch and was here to stay.

Soon after the BBL09, he participated in the Pakistan Super League and maintained his good form, amassing 272 runs at a strike rate of 148.63. After the break due to the pandemic, Karachi Kings made it to the final and defeated the Lahore Qalandars to win their maiden PSL title.

The 2020 season also offered him another shot at winning the title for his county Notthinghamshire in the Vitality T20 Blast 2020, played in England. His team went on to win the final, against Surrey, in a rain curtailed match.

2020 has seen an epic rise again for Alex Hales, assisting in his team’s winning two T20 titles in different parts of the world is another proof of his immense talent.  He is definitely one of the cricket players to look out for in 2021. It has been a great story of ups and downs for Alex Hales and we hope to see him in England colours soon and maybe even in the England squad for the 2021 T20I World Cup, although many pundits might think that you’ve more chance of winning on casino-bonus.com/uk/ than seeing Alex Hales back in an England shirt.

©Cricket World 2020

 


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