Notts Outlaws batsman Alex Hales has been signed by Sunrisers Hyderabad as a replacement for David Warner. The former Australian vice-captain was set to captain the franchise, but resigned and was then banned by the BCCI from playing in the tournament for his part in the ball-tampering scandal that emerged in South Africa this week.
Sunrisers’ move for Hales means that his gamble to become a white-ball specialist despite missing out in the IPL auction has paid off – stressing his availability in the event of any replacements being needed. He was bought for his base price of INR 1 crore (USD 154,000) from the available player pool list.
Hales’ failure to win a spot in the initial auction caused some surprise in England. He remains the only England player till date to score a T20I century and is also the only England batsman to feature in the top-10 list of the ICC T20I rankings.
Hales, 28, had recently signed a two-year deal to play only white ball cricket for Notts Outlaws, but as is common these days, it included a clause stating his right to sign an IPL deal if offered one.
Notts director of cricket Mick Newell said: “Although Alex missed out in the IPL auction, we knew there was a chance he could be signed up as a replacement, given his excellent record in the T20 Blast last summer and with England.”
“Clearly, we would have loved Alex to be around for the whole of our own 50-over campaign, but we still go into that competition with a very strong squad and his absence for a period opens up opportunities for others.”
Hales will miss two Royal London One-Day Cup matches, and maybe more if Sunrisers reach the playoff stage in late May. Hales will miss the fixtures against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford and against Northamptonshire at Welbeck.
He will leave for India as soon as possible. The IPL begins on April 7, while Sunrisers’ first match is on April 9 against Rajasthan Royals.
Sunrisers will now be captained by New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, another consequence of the ball-tampering fallout.
Hales said: “I’m excited to be given this opportunity. While it’s disappointing to miss matches for Outlaws, when I return to England I will be match-hardened and ready to give my all to their cause.”