Alex Hales poised for IPL riches after agreeing Nottinghamshire compromise

Alex Hales has agreed a compromise with Nottinghamshire which will allow him to cash in on the Indian Premier League providing he secures a top bracket contract worth in excess of $400,000 per year.

Hales has signed an extension to his Trent Bridge contract until 2016 following talks with Mick Newell, Nottinghamshire’s Director of Cricket, which allows him leave to play in the next three IPL tournaments providing he secures one of the top contracts.

Having been blocked from joining the IPL auction last year, Hales can now attempt to cash in on his status as the No 1 ranked Twenty20 player in the ICC’s international rankings.

“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,” revealed Newell.

“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.

“He has a track record of scoring runs consistently against high-quality Twenty20 bowlers and it’s easy to see why he could be an asset to an IPL side. It feels like the right time to allow him to maximise the financial opportunities that go hand in hand with his track record.”

Hales flourished in Twenty20 cricket last summer, but struggled in the first class game and was dropped by Nottinghamshire towards the end of the season after averaging only 13.94 in Division One having scored only two half-centuries.

He is due to join up with Adelaide Strikers in December to play in Australia’s Big Bash competition and the new deal ends speculation that Hales was poised to quit first class cricket and become a Twenty20 freelance.

Adelaide Strikers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Last season was tough for me because I was sky high in two formats and at rock bottom with the red ball,” he admitted. “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.

“There were moments last season where I got carried away with how well things were going with the white ball to the detriment of my Championship form, but I’ve got the drive to put things right.”

He added: “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 this winter, which I hope can give me a platform to demonstrate my skills and stir interest from IPL teams.

“The atmosphere created by IPL fans is special and unique and I have spoken to several players who have experienced it and consider it to be second to none. I really hope I can be part of it.”

Nottinghamshire team-mate Samit Patel has also been given permission to join the IPL auction and will be given similar dispensation if he can secure a top bracket deal, while Newell remains in talks with Michael Lumb and remains hopeful of also agreeing a new contract with him.

They are also in advanced talks with what they describe as “an established batsman”, which they hope will provide cover for Hales in the opening weeks of the 2014 English domestic season.

James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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