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PSL 2022 – Islamabad United’s Alex Hales says England cancelling Pakistan tour last year ‘made absolutely zero sense’


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“It’s a great place to come and play cricket, I absolutely feel safe,” says the PSL veteran

England’s decision to cancel their white-ball tour of Pakistan last October made “zero sense”, according to Alex Hales.

“That decision to cancel that tour made absolutely no sense,” Hales told Geo TV. “Especially after Pakistan came to England during Covid and helped out the ECB massively. So for them to cancel that tour made absolutely zero sense to me.

“It was only a short tour, only a few T20s so it made no sense.”

England had pulled out of a long-scheduled T20I tour of Pakistan weeks before it was to take place, citing a vague mix of reasons from player welfare to security.
Hales has more experience of playing in Pakistan than most English cricketers. He’s now in his fifth season at the PSL and has played in Pakistan in four of those, including two seasons disrupted by the pandemic. He’s in a second stint with Islamabad United, having won the league once with Karachi Kings in the past, and he has been one of the league’s standout openers, averaging over 44 at a strike rate nearing 150. This season, he started out with a 54-ball 82* in Islamabad’s first match, against Peshawar Zalmi.

He’s also part of a 20-plus contingent of English players involved with the six franchises this season.

In the last 10 years only two English cricketers – Samit Patel and Bilal Shafayat – have played more cricket than Hales in Pakistan (all of Shafayat’s cricket was in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy).

“I’ve been here four or five times now and get looked after really well,” Hales said. “Every time we come here, the people are very hospitable and cricket is always really good. The fans here are crazy for it. So, it’s a great place to come and play cricket, I absolutely feel safe.”

“I am just enjoying myself and scoring as many runs as possible and that’s the way I’m going to get back into the England squad, just to keep knocking on the door with runs is certainly something I’ve done over the last couple of years”

Alex Hales

The ECB and PCB have since renegotiated that tour and England are now scheduled to tour Pakistan twice later this year. They first arrive in September for a seven-match T20I series, in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup in Australia. Following that tournament, they visit again for a three-Test series in November-December.

Hales’ chances of being part of the T20I leg of those tours are slim, though he thinks he is playing the best cricket of his career at the moment.

“I’m just enjoying my cricket a lot more now,” he said. “I’m into my 30s now so I guess I’ve matured over the last few years away from the game. I feel like I’m playing the best standard of cricket I [have] played in my life and hopefully, I can keep up for the next few years.

“I am just enjoying myself and scoring as many runs as possible and that’s the way I’m going to get back into the England squad, just to keep knocking on the door with runs is certainly something I’ve done over the last couple of years.

“I think my stats are right up there with the best in the world. So, you know, hopefully, that chance comes around again.”



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