T20 World Cup: I’m Just Playing With a Smile on My Face in an England Shirt Again – Alex Hales

England’s opening batter and hero of the 10-wicket win against India in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup semifinal, Alex Hales, has insisted he is not driven by the memories of missing out on England’s ODI World Cup triumph in 2019.

The 33-year-old Hales slammed a 47-ball unbeaten 86 and shared an unbroken stand of 170 with skipper Jos Buttler as England thrashed India by 10 wickets in the last-four stage at the Adelaide Oval to secure a berth in the T20 World Cup final.

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Hales, days before the start of the 2019 ODI World Cup, had failed a drug Test and the-then skipper Eoin Morgan reportedly refused to have him in the team following the misdemeanour. England went on to defeat New Zealand in the final at Lord’s to lift the trophy.

Experts feel Hales has got a second opportunity after he failed the recreational drug tests and he is keen to make up for lost time under the new set-up of skipper Buttler and coach Matthew Mott.

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Morgan had claimed in 2019 following Hales’s misdemeanour with recreational drugs that the opener had “shown a complete disregard” for team values, effectively closing the door for the batter till such time he was at the helm.

But Hales was quoted as saying by Daily Mail that he is not driven by the desire to make up for the three years he was in cricketing wilderness because of the failed drug test. He also said that those memories are not on his mind anymore.

“That’s (episode) not what’s on my mind when I’m out in the middle,” said Hales. “I’m just playing with a smile on my face in an England shirt again and if I can leave with a World Cup winner’s medal it would be very special,” the charismatic opener was quoted as saying in the report.

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