After going unsold at the IPL auction earlier in January, England batsman Alex Hales has joined Sunrisers Hyderabad as the replacement of disgraced Australian vice-captain David Warner. The opening batsman was bought for his base price of INR 1 crore from the Registered and Available Player Pool (RAPP) list, a BCCI release stated on Saturday (March 31).. Hales is the only English batsman to feature in the top 10 list of the ICC T20I rankings. He is also the only player from England to have a T20I century against his name.
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The 29-year old batsman is expected to don the opener's hat for Orange Army alongside Shikhar Dhawan in the lucrative T20 tournament which is set to kick-off from April 7 in Mumbai. Despite a healthy T20 average of close to 32 in 52 T20Is, Hales was not picked up by any of the IPL teams at the player auction in January. He has scored 1456 runs in with an impressive strike-rate of 136.32 for England. On the other hand, several other English players like Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Sam Billings attracted lucrative deals but there was no substantial interest for Hales.
Earlier, New Zealand's Kane Williamson had replaced David Warner as the skipper of the Hyderabad-based franchise. Warner was banned by Cricket Australia for a year from any kind of cricketing activity on Wednesday, for his role in the ball-tampering fiasco during the Cape Town Test against South Africa. Following which, the BCCI also ruled the destructive Australian batsman out of the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
In the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL), Hales played for eventual champions Islamabad United but failed to leave a mark with any substantial scores barring his 46-run knock against Karachi Kings.