Hales honours lucrative PSL contract over England duty

England’s dynamic opener Alex Hales has opted to partake in the Pakistan Super League season 8 instead of accompanying the England team for their upcoming tour to Bangladesh in March, reported English Media on Tuesday.  

According to the Telegraph, Hales will “honour a lucrative £145,000 contract” with Islamabad United for the upcoming edition of Pakistan’s marquee league.

England will play three T20Is and as many ODIs in Bangladesh between March 1 to 14. The tour is set to clash with the PSL which will run from February 13 to March 19.

“To leave a portion of the PSL and represent England in Bangladesh, Hales would lose a significant sum of money, with England match fees for players without national contracts — in the region of £5,000 and £2,500 for ODIs and T20Is — worth considerably less than franchise payments,” the report said.

The explosive opener made his comeback to the national side in September last year after a three-year hiatus and played a pivotal role in England’s T20 World Cup victory.

Hales remains firmly in the national team’s plans going forward. England are highly understanding of the situation and have not put pressure on Hales. Indeed, the national team have become increasingly aware that the franchise circuit now pays more, with a series of cricketers who would have been picked for the Lions — the national second-string — this winter not selected so that they could play in franchise leagues instead,” the report added.

Earlier, Hales also confirmed his availability for the PSL8 in a statement released by the United on its Twitter.

“The first time I came to play PSL in Pakistan was with Islamabad United. This is my fifth season with the franchise,” said Hales as quoted by the United. “Everyone talks about how we operate like a family and how everyone looks after each other. Last season, the franchise stood by me in a tough situation and respected my decision hence I had no qualms about returning for the playoff games.”

“This year as well, I have made myself available because I love this team and the free brand of cricket we play at Islamabad United,” he added.

It is important to note here that the PSL 8 will kick off in Multan on February 13 with the defending champions Lahore Qalandars locking horns with hosts Multan Sultans in the opener.

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