T20 World Cup 2022: They might not be best mates and that’s OK, says England coach Matthew Mott on Alex Hales’ strained relationship with Ben Stokes
T20 World Cup 2022: 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.
Following an dispute between Hales and Stokes outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017, Stokes was charged with affray; after contesting the charge, he was found not guilty; and as a result, both players were given backdated suspensions and penalties by 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.
Jonny Bairstow was replaced in England’s T20 World Cup squad by Alex Hales, who did not make the initial cut.
Before the 2019 World Cup, Hales, 33, allegedly lost the confidence of the England team after failing two drug tests. As a result, he was given a three-year cricketing suspension and lost his place on the national team.
“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.