Sydney Thunder has bolstered its line-up for the upcoming KFC Big Bash League by recruiting one of the world’s most exciting Twenty20 batsmen, Englishman Alex Hales.
Hales joins the Thunder after dominating England’s Vitality T20 Blast competition. He was named the Notts Outlaws player of the season after scoring 418 runs – which included five half centuries - at an average of 38.
The big-hitting 30-year-old, who has signed a one-year deal with the Thunder, has played 11 Tests, 70 One-Day Internationals and 60 T20 International matches for England.
Apart from his previous ranking as the ICC’s world number one T20 batter, Hales is also the only English batsman to have scored a century in a T20 International.
He boasts a wealth of T20 experience, playing in a number of major tournaments around the world, including the Indian Premier League, Caribbean Premier League and Pakistan Super League.
Hales said he is excited to return to the Big Bash and play key role at the top of Thunder’s batting order.
“I really can’t wait to return to the Big Bash,” said Hales.
“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.”
Sydney Thunder Head Coach Shane Bond cited Hales’ extensive T20 experience as one of the reasons he wanted the Englishman in this year’s squad.
“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,” Bond said.
“I spent a little bit of time with him at the Mumbai Indians and came up against him when I coached New Zealand and he smacked us a number of times.
“He’s one of the most destructive batters, is an outstanding fielder and is also obviously a highly experienced player.
“He’s highly respected at Notts and does a great job with their young players. With players like Sangha, Gilkes and Davies, to have someone who has been there and done that, Alex has played in leagues all around the world and is an outstanding batsman in this format. To have someone like him to learn off is perfect.
“Obviously Alex is on the outer with the England squad at the moment, but I think he’s still got a lot to offer so hopefully this is another chance for him to show his maturity and make a claim for the T20 World Cup next year.”
Hales joins South African all-rounder Chris Morris as the club’s two overseas players, with Jos Buttler unavailable for this season due to England’s tour of South Africa.
“We’re obviously disappointed to lose Jos because he’s brilliant, but to be able to bring in someone of Alex’s quality is huge for us,” Bond said.
Sydney Thunder is set to open its ninth KFC Big Bash League campaign against the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on 17 December, before playing its first game in Sydney on 2 January.
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