Alex Hales on England career: I got things wrong but I am proud of what I achieved


Alex Hales says there are things he wishes he had done differently after off-field issues dented his England career but is proud of what he achieved in the international game; batter retired from England duty this week after scoring over 5,000 runs in 156 matches across all three formats

Alex Hales on England career: I got things wrong but I am proud of what I achieved

Alex Hales says “there were things he got wrong” during his England career but that he is “proud” of what he achieved as he reflected on his decision to retire from international cricket.

Hales lost his spot as first-choice white-ball opener after an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017 and was then axed ahead of the home 50-over World Cup in 2019 after a failed recreational drug test, with then-captain Eoin Morgan saying there had been “a complete breakdown in trust”.

The batter did not play under Morgan again but his three-year exile from the England side ended in late 2022 when he returned ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia following Jonny Bairstow’s injury.

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Alex Hales’ England career

T20 internationals One-day internationals Tests
Games 75 70 11
Runs 2,074 2,419 573
Highest score 116 not out 171 94
Average 30.95 37.79 27.28

Hales went on to score 212 runs in the tournament as England secured their second T20 World Cup title and first since 2010.

He bows out from international duty having scored 5,066 runs in 156 appearances across all three formats – 75 T20 internationals, 70 ODIs and 11 Test matches.

The 34-year-old told Sky Sports: “I can look back with a lot of proudness and I am delighted I got another crack at a World Cup.

“There were some disappointing moments along the way… there were things I got wrong in my twenties playing for England. If I could go back in time I would change a few things… but I don’t want to dwell on them too much.

Alex Hales on England career: I got things wrong but I am proud of what I achieved

“As time goes on [those off-field things] nag away at me less and less. When it all happened it was horrendous but the more the clock ticks the more you move on with your life.

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“There are things I would handle differently, conversations I would have and ways I would do things slightly differently that may have led to a different outcome.

“But I can’t change that now and all that happening then has got me to where I am now. I am very proud of everything I have achieved and where I am with my cricket on and off the field.”

Hales: I don’t miss first-class cricket

Hales, who will now focus on white-ball cricket with Nottinghamshire and in franchise leagues across the world, averaged 27.82 from his 11 Tests as an opener, with five half-centuries and a best of 94.

He said: “I think I may have been more suited to the middle order [but] getting into the middle order when I was trying to get into the Test team was virtually impossible as it was so strong.

Alex Hales on England career: I got things wrong but I am proud of what I achieved

“I was definitely fighting a lot of my instincts opening the batting in England. It is a seriously tough place to do it. Maybe looking back if I could have gone about it in my natural way I could have had a bit more success.”

Asked whether he misses first-class cricket, having played his most-recent red-ball game back in September 2017, Hales added: “I’ll be honest, no. Purely because of the amount of franchise stuff there is now around the world.

“If I am playing in different countries over the winter and I come back in April having had no rest and the ball is seaming and swinging around…

“It is very difficult to balance the franchise circuit with the four-day stuff. Wanting to get to the level that I wanted to in T20, I found it difficult to navigate through all three formats.

Alex Hales on England career: I got things wrong but I am proud of what I achieved

With the way I play and my instincts, my technique, I would have chucked my eggs into the T20 basket. The way the game is now, there are fewer and fewer people who are exceptional at all three forms. You see more and more specialists. What cricket would a young Alex Hales play now?

“I am at definitely at peace with that decision. I do miss when you graft really hard for a win and are sat around with your mates afterwards, but the pros outweigh the cons.”

On his international retirement, Hales concluded: “I made my mind up a few weeks ago. I feel winning a World Cup is the highest of highs for me and to do that after I never thought I’d get that chance…

“I think it’s rare to bow out as a sportsman on your terms. That was the main reason.

“Also being in my mid-thirties now, without a central contract, it becomes difficult to play bilateral series… missing out on the franchise gigs.

“It becomes a financially tough decision the older you get.

“When you are in the twilight it feels franchise stuff is the route I wanted to go down. It felt like the right time.”

Hales will play for Trent Rockets throughout The Hundred. Watch every match from the tournament live on Sky Sports or stream via NOW.


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