Alex Hales Opt Out of IPL 2022, Aaron Finch Named as Replacement

Alex Hales
Alex Hales

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England opening batsman Alex Hales opt-out of IPL 2022 owing to bio bubble fatigue. Alex Hales is the second player to enter his name in the list of players to withdraw from IPL 2022 after Jason Roy.

Alex Hales Opt Out of IPL 2022

After finding no takers in the last couple of years, Hales finally got an IPL recall after a gap of four years when the Kolkata Knight Riders signed him for the base price of INR 1.5 crore in the mega auction. Fans touted Hales-Venkatesh Iyer as one of the most promising opening pairs for the upcoming season.

The 33-year old took to Twitter on Friday to explain his reasons in detail saying that after spending almost four months in bio-bubbles he felt that he wouldn’t be able to commit another couple of months in a restricted environment.

Hales played for Sydney Thunder in the 2021-22 Big Bash League, the team that was most affected by COVID-19. Having played 13 matches in the BBL, Hales’ next T20 assignment was in Pakistan for the PSL 2022.

He played in seven matches for Islamabad United before pulling out due to bubble fatigue. He did, however, rejoin the team ahead of the playoffs stage.

Alex Hales
Alex Hales(Image Credit: Cricket Australia)

Taking to Twitter, Hales wrote, “Hi guys, I am sad to announce that I have made the extremely difficult decision to withdraw from the forthcoming IPL. Having spent the last four months away from home in restrictive bio bubbles and having tested positive for COVID myself in Australia, I don’t feel as though I can commit myself to another extended period within a secure environment.

Labeling it as one of the best opportunities of his career, the dashing opener Hales said that he was gutted to let that go but it was the right call given the circumstances and it wouldn’t be fair either on him or KKR if he isn’t able to give the expected level of performance.

“It wouldn’t be fair on the team or myself if I wasn’t able to perform to the level expected of me as a result of ongoing bubble fatigue. I am truly gutted to have to turn down one of the best opportunities of my career due to the toll that the last two years of bubble life has taken on my mental well-being. I’ll now take some time to rest and recharge ahead of the summer,” Hales further wrote

Venky Mysore Supports Hales’s decision

Venky Mysore, the CEO, and MD of Knight Riders said, “We respect Alex Hales’ decision of choosing family and mental well-being over his participation in the upcoming season of the IPL. Bubble-life isn’t easy, and a number of players around the world have shared their views on this topic. We will miss having him in the Galaxy of Knights this season, but we wish him all the best”.

“We are delighted to welcome Aaron Finch, the T20 World Cup-winning captain, to the Knight Riders family. He is excited about joining the rest of the KKR squad in Mumbai and we look forward to benefiting from his vast experience.”

Hales has been only an occasional participant at the IPL, having spent time with Mumbai Indians without playing a game in 2015, and then turning out for Sunrisers Hyderabad in six games in IPL 2018, when he scored 148 runs at an average of 24.66 with a strike rate of 125.42.

Alex Hales Replacement Player

Hales was replaced by Aaron Finch in the KKR setup and he will be joining the squad for INR 1.50 crores. Additionally, Hales’ English teammate, Jason Roy had also quit from the IPL 2022 season due to bubble fatigue.

Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch

For Finch, it will be his ninth IPL franchise, a record. He has in the past been with Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals), Pune Warriors India, Sunrisers, Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Lions, Kings XI Punjab, and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

He has played 85 innings in the IPL over the years, scoring 2005 runs at an average of 25.70 and a strike rate of 127.70.

As per IPL 2022 Schedule, Knight Riders, the two-time IPL champions, will play the first game of the 2022 season against Chennai Super Kings at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on March 26.