England\’s 2022 T20 World Cup hero Alex Hales announces retirement from international cricket

Alex Hales, the accomplished opening batter who played a pivotal role in England\’s triumph in the T20 World Cup, has officially announced his retirement from international cricket at the age of 34. Hales played a crucial part in England\’s transformation in white-ball cricket, a change spearheaded by Eoin Morgan after the 2015 World Cup. Notably, he was instrumental in England securing victory in the 2022 T20 World Cup.

In an Instagram post, Hales conveyed his decision: \”I have chosen to step away from international cricket. Representing my country has been an incredible privilege. The experiences and friendships I\’ve gained will be cherished, and I believe the time is right for me to transition.\”

Hales reflected on his time donning the England jersey, acknowledging both the highs and lows he experienced. He expressed contentment that his final international match coincided with the victory in a World Cup final. He had previously declined to participate in England\’s T20I series against Bangladesh in order to honor his commitments in the Pakistan Super League.

Hales had a notable international career, appearing in 11 Test matches, 70 ODIs, and 75 T20Is. His international journey commenced with a T20 match against India in August 2011. However, his trajectory wasn\’t without challenges. He was omitted from England\’s 2019 ODI World Cup squad and faced a three-year exclusion from international cricket due to a failed recreational drugs test, which was made public shortly before the tournament. During this time, he amassed nearly three years in exile.

Though Hales didn\’t establish himself in Test cricket, his impact on England\’s aggressive approach to limited-overs cricket was significant. He played a key role alongside players like Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, and Jonny Bairstow. This collective effort led to England\’s historic victory in the 2019 World Cup. Hales, however, couldn\’t take part in that triumphant moment due to his exclusion following the drugs test controversy. His return to the international scene was only possible after Eoin Morgan retired.

In terms of statistics, Hales compiled 2419 runs in ODIs at an average of 37.79 and a strike rate of 95.72. His T20I record included 2074 runs at an average of 30.95 and a strike rate of 138.35. Notably, he held the record for the highest individual score by an England batter in ODIs for two years, with his 171-run knock in August 2016. This feat was later surpassed by his former opening partner, Jason Roy.

Hales made an unexpected comeback to the England T20 squad in 2022, filling in for Jonny Bairstow during the T20 World Cup. He played crucial innings in the final group games, and his exceptional performance against India in the semi-final was a standout moment. Scoring an unbeaten 86 off 47 balls, Hales partnered with captain Jos Buttler in a remarkable 170-run unbroken stand, leading England to a convincing 10-wicket victory.

Hales also briefly featured in England\’s quest to find a suitable opening partner for Alastair Cook after Andrew Strauss retired. He played 11 Test matches between 2015 and 2016, averaging 27.28 with five half-centuries. However, he was later dropped ahead of England\’s 2016/17 winter tours. After his final County game in September 2017, Hales stepped away from red-ball cricket.

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