The mature Hales is “excited” for England’s chance at the T20 World Cup

Batsman Alex Hales said he has matured during his three-year absence from the England squad, adding that he is “very much looking forward to” supporting his country in their Twenty20 World Cup campaign in Australia.

Hales, 33, was called up to the T20 World Cup squad this month to replace Jonny Bairstow.

In 2019, Hales was withdrawn from the provisional squad for the 50-over World Cup after the Guardian newspaper reported that he had been serving a three-week ban from recreational drug use.

“I think I’ve changed. I’ve definitely matured. I’m comfortably in my 30s now and becoming a veteran,” Hales told reporters ahead of the English T20 series in Pakistan.

“At the end of the day it was my fault, wasn’t it? … You have to look at yourself in the mirror and try to improve as a person and learn from your mistakes.”

Hales, who has played in the T20 Big Bash League in Australia, said he hopes to put his experience to good use during the T20 World Cup.

“I thought the chance wouldn’t come again. It was disappointing not to be in the team for three years,” added Hales.

“I felt like I also played the best cricket of my career in those three years, so it’s something I’m really proud of and something I’m really looking forward to getting this chance to do again, especially on the World Cup in Australia, where I have a lot of experience.

“I feel like I can help take this team forward.”

England begin their T20 World Cup campaign against Afghanistan on October 22 in Perth.