England's rising star Alex Hales will defy PCA to play in Bangladesh


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The Independent Online

England's Twenty20 man of the moment Alex Hales is ready to defy the advice of the Professional Cricketers' Association for the good of his international future.

As the 23-year-old was launching the India attack to all parts of Pune on Thursday night, his $62,000 (£38,000) contract to play for Duronto Rajshahi in the controversial Bangladesh Premier League was being announced.

Hales was one of 11 English players bought in this week's auction for the month-long 2013 edition of the BPL, which is due to start on 17 January. Last year's tournament was plagued by lengthy legal disputes over non-payment of salaries and reports of match-fixing approaches, which has left PCA chief executive Angus Porter "very nervous about the competition".

"I don't see any evidence that the competition is going to be better off or better organised than last year," said Porter after the auction. "I'm not sure anyone involved in the game is very comfortable with this event."

Hales's own discomfort is minimal. He is instead keen to continue to build on the favourable impression he has made on the England coaches since making his T20 debut last year. With Nottinghamshire refusing to make him available for the Indian Premier League, Hales wants to showcase his talents on as many stages as possible, starting with Bangladesh.

"I did see [the PCA advice], and you do have a little bit of concern," said Hales ahead of today's second T20 international against India in Mumbai. "But at the end of the day, there's a Twenty20 World Cup coming up in a few years in Bangladesh. So any experience you can get out in the sub-continent is invaluable."

Nottinghamshire have prevented their players from competing in the IPL despite some of their England men expressing a desire to play in the cash-rich tournament. Hales, along with fellow England internationals Michael Lumb and Samit Patel, are all reported targets for IPL franchises ahead of the new season which starts on 3 April.

That is, however, just seven days before Nottinghamshire begin their County Championship campaign, and director of cricket, Mick Newell, has told his players they must be available for domestic duty.

Of more immediate concern for Hales will be the additional subcontinental experience he will gain at the Wankhede Stadium later today. If England are to end 2012 merrily on high, he will need to replicate, if not better, the 56 runs he struck from 35 balls against an attack featuring Test bowlers R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

England will go into the match without the option of Jonny Bairstow, who has returned home for family reasons. The only change the visitors are contemplating is at the top of the order. After Lumb's painstaking one from 10 balls, Hales may find himself walking out with Joe Root, a player whose recent achievements will no doubt act as an inspiration for him.