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“I’m not aware of specific interest from any given IPL franchise but I’m focussed on performing well in the Big Bash because there are a lot of eyes on that tournament”
England batsman Alex Hales has been granted permission by Nottinghamshire to play in the next three seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL), provided that he earns at least $400,000 per year.
Hales, who signed a contract extension with Nottinghamshire that will keep him at Trent Bridge till 2016, has represented England in 21 Twenty20 Internationals and is currently the top ranked Twenty20 batsman on the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings.
It is understood that all-rounder Samit Patel has been given similar terms if he wants to play in the IPL as well.
Hales was ecstatic to be granted the opportunity to play in next year’s IPL and added that he was looking forward to the three Twenty20 Internationals against Australia after the conclusion of the Ashes series.
“I’m pleased to have come to an agreement with Notts because I want to spend my entire career here and I hope that will happen now that I’ve been given the opportunity to enter the auction,” he said. “I’m not aware of specific interest from any given IPL franchise but I’m focussed on performing well in the Big Bash because there are a lot of eyes on that tournament. I’m hoping to be involved in the Twenty20 matches between England and Australia which I hope can give me a platform to demonstrate my skills and stir interest from IPL teams.”
The 24-year-old also revealed that he may consider becoming a Twenty20 specialist after failing to make an impact throughout last season’s County Championship.
“Last season was tough for me because I was sky high in two formats and at rock bottom with the red ball,” he said. “It did cross my mind to go freelance and focus on Twenty20 full time but I’ve had time to think and I’m still driven to do well in four-day cricket and to break into England’s one-day setup.”
However, Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell stated that while it would be a great experience for Hales to play in India, he also has to remember where his loyalties lie.
“We were very keen to secure an extended commitment from Alex, he was understandably keen to enter the IPL auction and there was a mutual will to find a compromise that we could all live with,” Newell said. “It’s hard for us to deny an individual the opportunity to earn life-changing amounts of money but the team also has to be considered so it made sense to allow him to enter the auction to see if there is sufficient interest in his services to secure a high-value contract.”
Hales’ next assignment will be a stint with the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League (BBL), which gets underway on December 20.