181201 Alex Hales 2
Alex Hales Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Alex Hales, who missed being part of the World Cup winning England squad, will use the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) to display his skills and regain the reputation as one of the hardest hitting top order batsman now. Hales was the very first pick at the CPL draft and will be playing for the Barbados Tridents.

Hales, after announcing that he is really looking forward to turning out at the CPL for the first time, said: “When I was picked it was incredible news. Barbados is probably one of the best places in the world for cricket, incredible ground, good atmosphere in the Caribbean. It’s also a tournament I have never played in before and from what I’ve heard from players and coaches, the standard is really high and the atmosphere is brilliant so, it’s a great opportunity for me. I’m looking forward to it.”

In April, Hales was withdrawn from the England team and was forced to serve a three-week ban for recreational drug use

In an interview to Gulf News, Hales had said: “I grew up watching my father play aggressive knocks and he did have a great influence in my career,” referring to his father Gary Hales, who scored an unbeaten 321 for Gerrards Cross against Chalfont St Peter in a limited overs league match.

Hales has a mission and that is to be part of the England squad for the T20 World Cup.

“I think the standard now for franchise cricket is just going through the roof, particularly with all the analysis and all the money that’s involved in it. You play with all sorts of different players from all sorts of countries and a few months later you find yourself playing against them so, these guys know your strengths, they know your weaknesses. So, the standard and the drive to improve and work on your weaknesses and keep on top of your strengths is massive. I think it’s definitely something that national selectors look at or certainly should be looking at because the standard is fantastic.”

Hales is a strong believer of T20 Leagues for career enhancement. “I think it does and also the pressure of being an overseas player as well there’s always that expectation on you to perform as it should be. You go and play in Bangladesh and a month later you might find yourself in Australia playing on completely different pitches where your game plan is going to have to adjust quite a bit. So, in terms of developing as a player and honing your skills around the world these domestic tournaments are probably as good as it gets.”

Speaking about his target, Hales said: “I mean obviously that’s still a target of mine. Whether or not it happens remains to be seen. But for me at the moment, whether it’s with England or not, I’ve got a really busy 12 to 18 months coming up. I think it’s pretty much non-stop, no time off whatsoever, so I’m really looking forward to it. At the moment my focus is just to perform as well as I can in these leagues and for Nottinghamshire. I’m really excited about the Notts campaign, we’ve got such a good squad with our T20 side, so I’m just going to enjoy my cricket, try and perform and hopefully at the end of the road there’s the World T20.”