Out-of-favour England batsman Alex Hales is set for a fourth stint in Australia’s Big Bash League this winter after signing for Sydney Thunder.
Hales lost his white-ball central contract last month after being dropped from the World Cup squad following a suspension for failing a recreational drugs test, and is currently in action with Barbados Tridents in the CPL.
England director of cricket Ashley Giles said “the door is not closed” on Hales’s international prospects and the 30-year-old will look to press his claims for a recall in Australia’s domestic Twenty20 competition.
Thunder head coach Shane Bond said on the franchise’s official website: “Obviously Alex is on the outer with the England squad at the moment, but I think he’s still got a lot to offer.
“Hopefully this is another chance for him to show his maturity and make a claim for the T20 World Cup next year.
“He’s one of the best T20 batters in the world. To have someone of his quality available for the whole tournament for us is a great pick up.”
The big-hitting opener, who recently extended his limited-overs only contract with Nottinghamshire, has previously represented Melbourne Renegades, Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL.
Hales replaces countryman Jos Buttler, who is unavailable for the Thunder this season because of his international commitments.
Hales said: “I really can’t wait to return to the Big Bash.
“It’s such a hugely respected tournament around the world. The standard of cricket is amazing and any chance you get to visit Australia and play over there is amazing, so I’m really looking forward to it.
“Sydney Thunder is the full package. Sydney is one of the best cities in the world, getting the chance to work with Shane Bond – who is a highly respected coach – and it’s a young club, so hopefully I can be part of building a successful family there.
“As an opener you want to be one of the leading run-scorers, so that’s definitely one of my aims.”
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