Veteran England batter Alex Hales has announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect. The 34-year-old thanked his friends and family and wishes to be involved in more of franchise cricket moving forward. The veteran batter's final international game was the T20 World Cup final against Pakistan in November 2022.
Hales made his international debut in 2011 and had asserted himself as one of the best openers of the era. He went on to represent England in 11 Tests, 70 ODIs, and 75 T20Is. The 34-year-old's forte was white-ball cricket as he struck at 95.72 in ODIs and 138.35 in T20Is.
He risked missing out on playing for the national team in the T20 World Cup 2022 before an injury to Jonny Bairstow paved the way for his inclusion. The 34-year-old justified his recall by amassing 212 runs in the tournament, becoming England's second-highest run-getter. Hales' prolific run with the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League was one of the significant reasons behind his success. He spent three years in exile before that for testing positive for a recreational drug before the 2019 World Cup.
"I feel that now is the right time to move on" - Alex Hales
Hales stated that while he is privileged to have represented England on 156 occasions, the 34-year-old feels it's time to move on and is glad to finish his career with a World Cup victory. As quoted by ESPN Cricinfo, the statement read:
"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. 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 is likely to return for the Sydney Thunder in the upcoming season of the BBL.