Hales was back in England training gear for the first time since a camp ahead of the 2019 World Cup when he arrived in Pakistan, carrying a dartboard as part of his hand luggage, as he spent three weeks in close company with teammates. was prepared to spend. New under tight security conditions in Karachi and Lahore.
On Thursday, exactly two weeks later, he spoke to Butler over the phone about his continued exclusion from the England set-up after learning that he would not be part of the team due to the Pakistan tour or the World Cup announcement.
But Bairstow’s ankle injury – suffered while slipping at Pannal Golf Club near Harrogate while England’s managing director, Rob Key, was telling the press he would open with Butler at the World Cup – opened the door for Hales to return And in the following days after discussions with senior players, the interim selection panel made a unanimous decision to bring Hales back.
Speaking to the media after his official arrival press conference in Karachi on Thursday, Buttler said, “Initially, we thought that the best option was Johnny in the top-order because this is his best position in T20 cricket.” “But with his strange injury, it gave someone a chance to come in.
“It was literally when Keesey was telling you the news that he was going to open up his credentials and speak [that Bairstow was injured], As soon as he finished talking to you guys, I had a message saying Johnny’s leg hurt. I was hoping it wasn’t as bad as it turned out. Obviously he had such a wonderful summer, so we will miss him dearly, but then the chance is given to someone else.
“I spoke to a lot of senior players to make sure no one would have a problem with Alex coming back into the team if we wanted to pick him up. Nobody had a problem. He’s clearly in excellent form. We know if he is a talented player and has gained a lot of experience since the last time he played for England.
“He has played for a lot of franchises and has had great success here in the PSL. Looking at the World Cup, he has a great Big Bash record. [1857 runs, 33.16 average, 151.34 strike rate], Australia is a place where he has done well, and so he was clearly being liked.”
But Morgan’s retirement from international cricket in June opened the door for Hales’ return, which came after his return was confirmed while he was holidaying in South Africa last week.
“He messaged me to ask if it would be possible to have a conversation about why he was not selected,” Butler said. “I spoke to him then: we had a good conversation, and I explained the reasons he didn’t get it. Of course, he was disappointed by it… that’s absolutely right, and how it should be. Too early. However, things changed and it became clear that there would be someone from the next pool of players selected as replacements.
“There’s a lot of water under the bridge, I think. It’s been a long time and I’m sure Alex is a different person. He spent time off the team and it’s great that he did well and went back in.” We look forward to seeing him perform again in the England shirt.”
On his discussions with senior players, Butler said: “I think it was important. It’s no secret that when Alex was left out of the 2019 World Cup squad, Eoin did a similar thing. Spoke to players, all the coaching staff and as a team I think it’s important that you give ownership to other people and collect opinions.
“I just wanted to double check. I had my own point of view, but I wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page. Everyone was, so that’s great. I just look forward to getting back to him and her.” Hoon group. Moeen Ali is again taking the mic from him and it won’t be long until all is well.”
“It was a really tough phone call,” he said. “But one important thing I said to him was ‘that doesn’t mean it’s the end – it’s not terminal’. We know what a great player he is when he’s on song … we’ve got him Talked about a plan to get back to that point.”
Butler’s role in the early stages of the tour will be limited by a calf injury he suffered during the Hundred, but he said it was important for him to be part of England’s first tour of Pakistan since 2005. “Whether fit to play sports or not, I thought my being here would be of great importance,” he said.
,[I will] Take it as I see it and build it up very slowly. It is an injury that is not bad, but an injury that is at risk of recurrence. You don’t want to push it too soon, especially with what we have ahead: we still have games and practice games in Australia, so there’s no dire need to be as fit as possible.
“If I had been available for the last couple of days, it would have been a best case scenario. It may come earlier that it may not at all. In a week or two the picture will be clearer. I am looking forward to being trapped.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98