England’s Alex Hales retires from international cricket with immediate effect

England white-ball opener Alex Hales on Friday announced his retirement from international cricket to focus on his commitments towards franchise-based T20 leagues.

Hales had featured in England’s victorious campaign in the T20 World Cup in Australia last year, where he was a surprise inclusion in the Jos Buttler-led squad as a replacement for the injured Jonny Bairstow. He retires from the sport with nearly 5,000 international runs to his name from 156 appearances — including 11 Tests — since making his international debut during the one-off T20I against India in 2011.

The dashing opener, who smashed an unbeaten 86 off 47 balls and shared an unbroken 170-run opening stand with skipper Buttler in the T20 World Cup semi-final against India in Adelaide last year, took to Instagram to announce his decision.

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“Just a note to announce that I have decided to retire from international cricket”

“It has been an absolute privilege to have represented my country on 156 occasions across all three formats. l’ve made some memories and some friendships to last a lifetime and I feel that now is the right time to move on,” Hales wrote in a post on the social networking platform owned by Meta.

Hales’ decisions comes a little over two months after a similar decision from fellow English white-ball opener Jason Roy.

Unlike Hales, though, Roy had only terminated his contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in order to represent Los Angeles Knight Riders in the inaugural Major League Cricket (MLC), and remains open to the idea of representing England in the future.

Hales, whose last appearance for England was in the T20 World Cup 2022 final against Pakistan at Melbourne, said, “Throughout my time in an England shirt I’ve experienced some of the highest highs as well as some of the lowest lows. It’s been an incredible journey and I feel very content that my last game for England was winning a World Cup final.”

Hales was not a part of England’s World Cup-winning campaign in 2019 when the team’s captain Eoin Morgan and senior players decided that he had no role to play, while he served a 21-day ban for failing a second recreational drugs case.

Morgan had termed it as a complete breakdown of trust’.

But Hales was a vital cog in England’s revival in white-ball cricket. In fact, he contributed a 92-ball 147 (16x4s, 5x6s) when England piled up a monumental 481/6 against Australia in the Nottingham ODI in 2018 — the second highest ODI total ever.

Hales scored 2,419 runs at 37.79 with six centuries and 14 fifties in 70 ODIs. In 75 T20Is, he made 2,074 runs at 30.95 with one century and 12 half-centuries. In 11 Tests, he could only manage five fifties and a total of 573 runs at 27.28.

With inputs from PTI

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