Ben Stokes insists recalled Alex Hales shares his goal of T20 World Cup glory with England after his international exile was ended… but Test captain refuses to expand on his relationship with opener
- Alex Hales has been recalled by England for the T20 World Cup in Australia
- Hales has been absent for more than three years because of ‘trust’ issues
- He was left out of 2019 World Cup squad for not apologising for failed drugs test
- He was with England star Ben Stokes on the night of his Bristol brawl in 2017
Ben Stokes has insisted he and Alex Hales share the goal of winning the T20 World Cup in Australia – despite the pair’s troubled history.
After confirmation of Hales’s England recall following an absence of more than three years because of ‘trust’ issues, Stokes said: ‘Alex is definitely one of the best T20 players in the world and unfortunately with what happened with Jonny we had to call another player up.
‘Alex is definitely one of the guys that bowlers don’t want to be bowling at in the T20 format.
Ben Stokes has insisted he and Alex Hales share the goal of winning the T20 World Cup in Australia
Stokes praised Hales as one of England’s best players that can ‘take the pressure in big moments’
‘When it comes down to the big moments in World Cup games, you want your best players there to be taking that pressure on, and he certainly is one of those.’
But England’s Test captain, speaking ahead of Thursday’s series decider against South Africa at The Oval, refused to expand on the nature of his relationship with Hales, who was with him on the night of his Bristol brawl in 2017 and then left out of the 2019 World Cup squad for not apologising to team-mates over a failed drugs test.
Asked whether he had spoken to Hales recently, Stokes replied: ‘We’ve both got the same goal – to win World Cups.’
But England’s Test captain refused to expand on the nature of his relationship with Hales
Hales was with all-rounder Stokes on the night of his Bristol brawl all the way back in 2017
England have made one change to their Test side as they go in search of a 2-1 win over the South Africans, with Harry Brook coming in for a debut in place of his injured Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow.
‘He deserved his opportunity to be in the squad initially and he deserves his opportunity this week,’ Stokes said of Brook.
‘I think I mentioned a few weeks ago he will be someone who represents England in all three formats for a long time, so it’s exciting to see him get his opportunity this week with the whites on.
‘I’m really looking forward to watching him go and out and play this week.’
England have made one change to their Test side against South Africa, with Harry Brook coming in for Jonny Bairstow
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