IPL 2022: KKR’s Alex Hales pulls out citing ‘bubble fatigue’

Indian Premier League
Alex Hales

Former England batter Alex Hales has cited “bubble fatigue” after announcing his withdrawal from this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL).

Hales was snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders for his base price of around GBP 146,000 at last month’s auction.

The 10-team IPL is scheduled to run from March 26 to May 29, with Mumbai and Pune staging all group games.

But Hales is reluctant to spend another long spell in inhibitive environments.

The batter has therefore decided to follow the example of former England opening partner Jason Roy. Roy pulled out of representing Gujarat Titans for similar reasons. He is now taking a “short indefinite break” from cricket.

Alex Hales withdraws from IPL

Hales, said in a statement on Twitter: “I have made the extremely difficult decision to withdraw from the forthcoming IPL.

“Having spent the last four months away from home in restrictive bio bubbles and having tested positive for Covid myself in Australia, I don’t feel as though I can commit myself to another extended period within a secure environment.

“It wouldn’t be fair on the team or myself if I wasn’t able to perform to the level expected of me as a result of ongoing bubble fatigue.

“I am truly gutted to have to turn down one of the best opportunities of my career.

“I’ll now take some time to rest and recharge ahead of the summer.”

Aaron Finch replaces Alex Hales in the KKR squad.

Out in the cold

Hales, is widely regarded as one of the best short-form batters in England. However, he has been overlooked by the national team since being removed from the 2019 World Cup squad. His removal came on the eve of the tournament following a positive recreational drugs test.

KKR managing director Venky Mysore said on the franchise’s Twitter account:

“We respect Alex Hales’ decision of choosing family and mental well-being over his participation in the upcoming season of the IPL.

“We will miss having him in the Galaxy of Knights this season, but we wish him all the best.”