They might not be best mates and that’s OK’- Matthew Mott on Ben Stokes and Alex Hales’ strained relationship

England are scheduled to face Pakistan in a seven-match away T20I series starting Tuesday, September 20. Ahead of the bilateral series, the Three Lions’ white-ball coach Matthew Mott believes that Alex Hales‘ strained relationship with Test captain Ben Stokes will not at all play a spoilsport in England’s plan of winning the T20 World Cup 2022 down under.

Meanwhile, Stokes has been rested for the seven T20Is that will be played across two venues in Pakistan – Karachi and Lahore – as he was busy captaining the England red-ball team in the last few months that saw the Three Lions play seven matches. He announced a shocking retirement from ODI cricket in July.

Nobody’s perfect: Matthew Mott

“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,” said Mott while speaking to ESPNcricinfo.

“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,” Matthew Mott said.

For the unversed, Alex Hales and Ben Stokes were involved in a controversial brawl outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017 and both players were handed backdated bans and hefty fines by the Cricket Disciplinary Commission.

While Stokes did stage a remarkable comeback from thereon and emerged as England’s hero in the 2019 World Cup final at Lord’s, Hales’ case has not been the same.

Alex failed a drug test twice before the 2019 World Cup, as a result of which he was away from international cricket for three years. The explosive batter was originally not in England’s plans for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia.

However, a major injury to star batter Jonny Bairstow meant that Hales was named as his replacement for the marquee T20 tournament.

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