KARACHI: England returning opener Alex Hales expressed his admiration for the cricket fans of the city who came out in number and packed the National Stadium to witness the first T20I between England and Pakistan on the latter’s home soil.
Hales shone with a brilliant half-century on his return to England side after three years and guided his team to a comprehensive six-wicket win in the opening encounter of the historic T20I series.
Speaking at a post-match press conference, Hales stated that it was a very special feeling for him to play in front of the full house at Karachi’s National Stadium, terming it ‘one of the best atmospheres in world cricket.’
“I have played in front of full houses at Karachi but this is very different,” said Hales, who featured in the Pakistan Super League as one of the key overseas players and represented Karachi Kings and Islamabad United, respectively.
“You couldn’t believe the noise and the atmosphere. Karachi put up a show tonight,” he expressed.
Talking about his prior experience of playing in Pakistan, the England opener said he had spent a lot of time here over the last few years and had some fantastic memories on and off the field.
“It’s a place which means a lot to me,” he said. “So to be a part of the England tour, the first one in such a long time is an incredibly special feeling.”
Furthermore, Hales called his phenomenal comeback – a dream return – saying that it felt like a debut to play for England after three years.
“It’s a very special feeling to get back out on the park for England – three years felt like forever but to get a fifty on my return in a winning team is the stuff dreams are made of,” said Hales.
“There are always nerves and pressure after having not played for England for three years, it felt like a debut again, so a very special night,” he maintained.
It is apropos to mention here that England are currently on their first tour of Pakistan after 17 years. The touring side took a 1-0 lead in the seven-match T20I series with the second match to be played on September 22 at National Stadium Karachi.
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