Tasneem Summer Khan grabs an interview with Alex Hales after he’s picked up by the CPL
Alex Hales: Making the best of things as a first round pick at the CPL
In the ever eventful CPL draft, Alex Hales was Barbados Tridents’ surprise first round pick. Recently finding himself on the negative end of the pre-World Cup publicity being removed from England’s plans after failing a second drug test, Hales has attempted to turn this period around by looking to appear at the CPL. Speaking to the media backstage at the CPL draft, Hales was adamant that he would not miss any cricket for Nottinghamshire, with the T20 Blast clashing with the CPL, pushed back this year as a result of the World Cup – as such, Hales’ availability is severely dependent upon how far Nottinghamshire goes in the competition.
Hales describes his England dreams with a passion, conveying that he’s targeting the CPL so that he doesn’t miss out on cricket this summer, continues his white ball expertise, and keeps himself ready for the World T20 in Australia next year, hoping that the door on his England career has not been closed, and making it clear that he hopes to target as many white ball competitions as possible during this time, planning to return to the BPL after a successful campaign earlier in the year.
As for the CPL itself, Hales is hoping to utilize the opportunity to get experience of Caribbean pitches, developing his adaptability through batting on the slower pitches, sitting in stark contrast to Trent Bridge, the site of both England’s infamous 481 and Hales’ (and indeed any English batsman’s) top score of 187*. Looking forward to the responsibility that comes with being an Overseas player, Alex admitted that there was more pressure to perform. When asked whether he thought the 500 mark could be surpassed in the upcoming World Cup, Alex was convinced that England would be the team to do it. ‘We weren’t topo far against Australia, and there’s no reason England can’t do it.’
‘I just want to get back playing what I love most, and that’s cricket so this is such a good opportunity to go and play at a ground where I’ve got some fond memories.’ He emphasized looking forward to playing under Jason Holder, rather than facing him. Hales was realistic about a difficult period in his career, stating that there is a process to go through with the ECB. ‘I’m going to enjoy a mixture of downtime and then preparing for The Blast. There’s a few 2nd XI games at the end of June, so I’ll be looking to play them for Notts. I’ve found it difficult going from red ball to white ball, so to be able to focus on one thing – I’ll certainly find it a bit easier.’
Full of words of praise for Peter Moores, it is evident that he has had support available. ‘Moores is a wonderful coach and respected around the world. He keeps in regular touch with me just to see how I’m doing… he’s there just to chuck balls at me all day. I’m really blessed to have him at Notts.’ Clearly aware of the controversy surrounding The Hundred, Hales is nevertheless looking forward to the competition: ‘It’s something really new and innovative. I know it gets mixed reviews, but I’m really looking forward to it.’
Pushed for a pick for World Cup favorites, Hales laughs, pushing England. ‘Everyone’s playing their natural game, and that’s aggressive. You’ve got matchwinners all the way down to number 11. Adil Rashid averages about 30-odd in first class cricket. You’ve got hitters and hitters that keep coming at you. If not England, I’d say India would be close. And you can never count out Pakistan…’