England's stand-in skipper for their seven-match T20I tour of Pakistan, Moeen Ali, has said he is looking forward to seeing opener Alex Hales compete for the country again after the 33-year-old missed the English dressing room for more than three years due to a recreational drugs misdemeanour.
Hales was included by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as part of the touring party and the T20 World Cup in Australia next month after Jonny Bairstow suffered a freak injury.Hales was dropped from the squad just prior to the 2019 50-over World Cup at home as then limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan felt the cricket had "shown a complete disregard" for team values.
But following Morgan's retirement and Jonny Bairstow's freak injury, Hales approached ECB and got a positive feedback, facilitating his return under a new leadership group of skipper Jos Buttler and coach Matthew Mott.
"I'm looking forward to seeing Alex Hales play. He is a gun player with experience of performing in Pakistan (Pakistan Super League) and Australia (Big Bash League) and as (captain) Jos (Buttler) said in the first press conference, we discussed internally and no one had any issues with his recall.
What's done is done and we are looking forward to seeing him perform in an England shirt again," Moeen said in the Daily Mail on Monday.Moeen added he might have to take a tough call on whether he would like to come out of Test retirement or not, especially considering the fact that it was difficult to say 'no' to someone like Test head coach Brendon McCullum.
England are set to tour Pakistan for a historic Test series in December and Moeen will have to take a decision before that."There has been some talk in the media about the Test tour to Pakistan in December. Watching the Test side this summer has been amazing and seeing the way that Baz (Brendon McCullum) and Stokesy (Ben Stokes) have shifted the momentum.
It has been a breath of fresh air," said Moeen."I know I said I was unretired this summer after Baz gave me a call. I have had a few conversations with Baz and he is a guy who is very tough to say no to! But I have got to be honest with myself; I retired from Test cricket for a range of reasons.
I have not yet decided so let's see. It is still a few months away but at the moment, my focus is on the opportunity immediately in front of us to prepare and give ourselves the best chance of winning another World Cup for England."