According to England all rounder Chris Woakes, the England Cricket team will be glad to acknowledge the return of Alex Hales into the squad, provided that he has learnt his lesson from the drugs ban last year.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo in a video interview, Woakes said, “I don’t 100% know what will happen, but I’d be happy to see Alex back in England colours. I would imagine the majority would have the kind of views I have given. People deserve a second chance, as long as they’ve gone away and worked on a few things. I don’t know why anyone would see that any differently.”
“I don’t know 100 percent if it’s the right decision, it’s not my call. I’m a believer that people serve their time so to speak, he’s gone through a tough time, being left out of the World Cup, and going on to see that team lift the trophy must have been difficult for him.”
Woakes, who has played with and against Hales throughout their rise through age group cricket, including two Under 19 Tests against New Zealand in 2008, said that if Hales wants to head in the right direction and focus on his game, them everyone will be happy to see him back playing for his country.
Woakes said, “I think if people have gone away for a time and worked on their weaknesses, they should be allowed a second chance. Alex is a world-class player. I have played a lot of cricket with him from a young age actually. In a way I felt sorry for him but I understand the decision from the management, captain and rest of the team. We have a culture and an environment in the England squad that we all try and pull in the right direction. If Alex is willing to do that then I imagine everyone would be happy to see him back playing for England.”
After being dropped from the national side, Alex Hales has determinedly focused on scoring runs for the teams he has played for in order to make a strong case for himself. Since the month of December last year, in 22 innings, he has scored 815 runs at an average of 42.89 with 8 fifties, and believes he has been in the “form of his life”. With two T20 World Cups in the near future, the timing of Alex Hales’ purple patch could not have been better. He also admitted to the Daily Mail that he had matured as a character since his fall from grace, and hoped that the England management would find it in themselves to “forgive and forget”.
England are likely to choose up to 45 players for both the Test and Limited Overs matches next week. Although, a few days back, Eoin Morgan, England’s captain in the limited overs formats, did not specify the the amount of time that Hales needs to go through to ‘regain that trust’, he said that the doors are still open for Hales to return to the team. The fact that Chris Woakes, one of the senior players in the England setup who voiced in favour of the omission of Hales from the team right before the World Cup last year, is speaking in favour of Hales makes a strong case for the Nottinghamshire opening batsman.