London: Charismatic England opener Alex Hales wants to focus purely on T20 cricket after he played a pivotal role in the Jos Buttler-led side’s title triumph in the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia, and has indicated he is not too keen on being a part of the side’s campaign in the 50-over World Cup in India next year.
Hales and Buttler made a chase of 169 look like a walk in the park as they thrashed India in the semi-final to set up a title clash with Pakistan. Buttler finished with 80 not out from 49 balls, with Hales ending the game on an unbeaten 86 from 47. England then went on to defeat Pakistan in the final at MCG to lift the trophy.
Hales made a triumphant return to T20Is after being in cricketing wilderness for three-and-a-half years. Hales said his focus is on T20 cricket, including at competitions such as the ILT20 in the UAE, where he will be donning the Desert Vipers jersey.
“I think for the time being I am just going to focus on T20 cricket,” Hales said in a press release from Desert Vipers.
“It is a format where over the last three years, I have gotten better at a really quick rate. I think for the time being I am just going to focus on T20 cricket, and probably give (50-over cricket) some thought. I know there is a World Cup in India next summer, but for the moment my focus is on this tournament and the T20 franchise circuit. You have to see what the future holds, you just never know.”
After his superb innings against India in the semi-final at Adelaide, Hales said playing in a World Cup was not something he thought he would get to do again. Now, he says he is still basking in the glory of England’s success.
“It is a special feeling, something I did not think I would get a chance to do again was playing the World Cup,” Hales said. “I think I will be riding that wave for some time. It has definitely not sunk in yet. I hope I can carry that form into this tournament,” the dashing England opener said, adding, that he is looking forward to playing under Tom Moody.
“I have played under him in the past, so to get a chance to work with him again was awesome,” he said. “T20 Cricket is always evolving, and guys have their plans and methods. Each bowling attack I face will have their plans and know my strengths and weaknesses. I think that is the beauty of T20 cricket, it is always evolving.”
Hales felt the presence of Associate players, including those from the UAE, in this tournament, is a real difference from other T20 tournaments around the world: “I think it is brilliant that Associate nations can have a chance to get to rub shoulders with some of the best players in the world, it is a great opportunity for them. We are also really looking forward to that, and hopefully we can pass on some advice and help guide some younger players on their journey.”