Cricket

They might not be best mates…: England coach Matthew Mott on Alex Hales' strained relationship with Ben Stokes

In 2017, Alex Hales and Ben Stokes were involved in a dispute outside a Bristol nightclub.

They might not be best mates…: England coach Matthew Mott on Alex Hales' strained relationship with Ben Stokes

England captain Ben Stokes. AP

As the England team gear up for the first T20I against Pakistan, England white-ball coach Matthew Mott believes that Alex Hales’ strained relationship with red-ball captain Ben Stokes will not derail England’s effort to win the T20 World Cup in Australia.

In 2017, Hales and Stokes were involved in a dispute outside a Bristol nightclub, which resulted in Stokes being charged with affray – he challenged the accusation and was found not guilty – and both players receiving backdated bans and fines from the Cricket Disciplinary Commission.

“They might not be best mates and that’s OK. I’m sure you work with colleagues all the time who aren’t your best mate but you can work with them if you’ve got a common goal,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Mott as saying.

Alex Hales, who did not make the initial cut, was included in England’s T20 World Cup squad as a replacement for Jonny Bairstow.

The 33-year-old Hales allegedly lost the England team’s trust after failing a drugs test twice before the 2019 World Cup, resulting in a three-year ban from international cricket.

“Ben’s come out and stated that as well. He wants to win World Cups. I’m sure Alex does as well and we all do, so we try and pick the best players and if they end up becoming good mates again that’s great; if not, as long as they’re going towards that goal of winning the World Cup together then that’s how teams function,” he added.

“For me, that’s it. Nobody’s perfect – I’m certainly not – but if he’s trying to get better and he’s the best player, then we can work around it,” said Mott.

“As Jos said, we asked the senior players whether they had an issue. It was well before my time, so one of the things I said was ‘mate, you start with a blank canvas. He’s been contrite and has shown he’s trying to learn from his experiences,” he said.

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Updated Date: September 18, 2022 10:01:26 IST

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