England’s T20 World Cup winner Alex Hales has decided to play in the upcoming season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) rather than accompany his international side on their tour of Bangladesh.
The opening batter will take a short break after UAE’s ILT20 before joining his side in Pakistan.
Sam Billings, Liam Dawson and James Vince have also communicated their desire to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) of playing PSL over committing to the national side while Will Jacks will also join the league after completing his national duties against New Zealand.
Alex Hales is Islamabad United’s platinum pick for PSL 8 while Will Jacks will represent Quetta Gladiators after being picked in the supplementary draft. James Vince will don Karachi Kings’ colours while Liam Dawson has been picked by Lahore Qalandars.
ECB, however, has been expecting this conundrum to arise due to the proliferation of lucrative franchise cricket around the globe.
Director of men’s cricket Rob Key and performance director Mo Bobat have been keen to work in tandem with T20 leagues due to the benefits that the players obtain from exposure to high-level cricket in overseas conditions.
The board is also reluctant to force players into choosing between national duties and franchise leagues to avoid scenarios which may result in them asking out of their contracts as more money is available elsewhere just like what New Zealand is facing at the moment.
As a result, England’s upcoming series against Bangladesh is likely to result in a patchwork squad which features fringe players coupled with established internationals with some new faces sprinkled in.