On Friday, August 4, Alex Hales announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect.
The 34-year-old last represented England in the final of last year's ICC Men's T20 World Cup. He played his final game for the national side against Pakistan on November 13, 2022, in a final that England went on to win.
Hales' international career began in 2011 when he made his T20I debut against India. He failed to open his account in that game as he was trapped LBW on just the second ball that he faced. He came back strong in his second game as he scored 62 off 48 deliveries against West Indies, guiding England to a 10-wicket victory at The Oval.
Alex Hales international career
In his T20I career, he scored a total of 2,074 runs in 75 games at an average of almost 31. In the process, he struck at a healthy 138.36 as well. The calendar years 2013 and 2017 were his best in the format. In 2013, the opener scored 247 runs in seven games at an average of a little less than 50, while having a destructive strike rate of 153. In 2017, he averaged 63 and struck at 152 across the 3 games. He, more often than not, came out all guns blazing and got going right from the word go. He was a force to reckon with in T20I cricket and had the potential to turn games around on his own by providing his side with flying starts.
The right-handed batter played 70 ODIs, and the last time he played 50-over cricket for England was in March 2019. Having been out of his side's ODI plans for a long time, his participation in the upcoming 50-over World Cup in India was highly unlikely. In 67 innings with the bat, he scored 2,419 ODI runs, at a more than decent average of 37.80. In an ODI career that lasted four-and-a-half years, Hales made 14 fifties, 6 tons and 5 ducks.
Although his aggressive batting was more suited to shorter formats of the game, he still managed to play 11 Tests for England. He scored just 5 fifties in 21 innings before England decided to move on. In the whites, Hales averaged a bit more than 27.
Often considered a T20 specialist, Hales represented some top franchises in various T20 leagues across the globe. He has represented Melbourne Renegades, Adelaide Strikers, Hobart Hurricanes, Sydney Thunder, Rangpur Riders, Barbados Tridents, Desert Vipers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Durban Heat, Islamabad United, Karachi Kings, Trent Rockets and Nottinghamshire over the years. Now, with no national side commitments, it is expected that he could be seen participating in several T20 leagues.
Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan – the ugly controversy
Alex Hales ended his international career with a total of 5,066 runs, but not without some controversy. His differences with former England caption Eoin Morgan caused him to miss out on a lot of international cricketing action. In 2019, Hales failed England Cricket Board's recreational drug test for the second time. Following the result, he was on the receiving end of a 21-day ban. However, the situation was not received too well by Morgan, as he believed he had been let down by Hales with the 2019 ODI World Cup fast approaching. After planning for the event for four long years, Hales' ban was a massive blow for England, and he was soon dropped from all England squads citing his disregard for the team values as the primary reason.
Nevertheless, with all the discipline issues, the swashbuckling batter made a successful comeback in last year's T20 World Cup, scoring 212 runs in 6 innings, including a scintillating 47-ball 86 in England's dominating 10-wicket victory against India in the semi-final.