T20 World Cup: Alex Hales returns, replaces injured Jonny Bairstow in England's squad
- Alex Hales lasted played for England in 2019
- He had not been picked after he tested positive for a banned substance
- Bairstow picked up an injury while playing golf
Hard-hitter Alex Hales has been added to England's squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Hales was included in the England T20 World Cup squad as a replacement for Jonny Bairstow, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Wednesday.
Bairstow picked up a left ankle injury while playing golf last week in Leeds that ended his chances of making it to the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to be played in Oct-Nov in Australia.
The 33-year-old Hales, who last represented England in March 2019, was also to the England squad for the tour of Pakistan, according to the ECB's press release. Hales had been away following the drug scandal he got himself tangled in back in 2019.
Back in April 2019, Hales tested positive for recreational drug use and as a result, his name was removed from England's preliminary squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup at home, which the English side won by beating New Zealand in the final.
Then-England captain Eoin Morgan had made it clear that he was unhappy with Hales' conduct. The explosive opening batsman never made it to the Three Lions' side during Morgan's remaining tenure as England's white-ball captain.
Morgan announced retirement from international cricket earlier this year and the upcoming T20 World Cup will be Jos Buttler's first mega event as the national skipper.
Meanwhile, England are going to be without their star openers Bairstow and Jason Roy for the T20 World Cup 2022. The latter was not picked in the squad because of his recent poor form.
The last time Hales represented England was during their tour of the Caribbean in 2019, where the two sides locked horns in five ODIs and three T20Is. While Hales played all the shortest format games, he played three out of five ODIs.
Hales scored 105 runs in two ODI innings at an average of 52.50, he did not have the best of the T20I series, where he managed just 39 runs in three innings at a strike rate of 156.
Overall, Hales has played 60 T20Is for England, scoring 1,644 runs at a strike rate of 136.65, including a century and eight fifties.
In the last two and a half years when Hales was away from national duty, he went across the cricketing globe and played in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Big Bash League (BBL), The Hundred and T20 Blast.
While the T20 World Cup is scheduled to go underway on Oct. 16, England will open their campaign on Oct. 22 against Afghanistan at Perth Stadium.
England's T20 World Cup squad: Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Alex Hales, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes, and Mark Wood.
Travel Reserve: Tymal Mills, Liam Dawson, and Richard Gleeson