There’s no need to clear the air with Ben Stokes when we’re focused on the World Championship, insists Alex Hales

Alex Hales denied he had to clean the air with England captain Ben Stokes but revealed they have sat down in Australia to make sure they are on the same page.

The couple were once close and both were involved in a street brawl outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017 which resulted in Stokes being charged and then acquitted of racketeering.

While discussing the incident in his documentary Phoenix from the Ashes, Stokes referred to Hales as “my boyfriend at the time Alex” and hinted their relationship remained frosty last month when he was questioned about their connection off the pitch, and said only: “We both have the same goal, to win World Cups.”

Hales recently returned to England after more than three years in international exile, having been released after testing positive for recreational drugs on the eve of their 2019 World Cup triumph.

White-ball captain Jos Buttler claimed the recall has the support of all players and he chaired as Hales and Stokes held talks on their arrival in Australia ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Hales and Stokes stood side-by-side during the national anthems ahead of the first of three T20s against Australia in Perth before briefly batting together in England’s eight-run win.

“We sat down and talked,” Hales said. “It was as good as gold. At the end of the day, we’re here to win a world championship. I think that’s the most important thing.

“We had a really good conversation and everything was fine. There was no air purification at all, we just sat down with Jos and said our goal is to win the world championship. It was really good – really smooth.”

Jonny Bairstow’s broken leg paved the way for a comeback for Hales, who tops the rankings as a favorite over Partner Buttler for England’s first World Cup match against Afghanistan on October 22 in Perth.

(Getty Images)

Hales confirmed his pick ahead of Phil Salt on Sunday by scoring the highest score with 84 balls from 51, and afterwards admitted he had a few butterflies before going batting.

“It was a strange one,” he said. “I haven’t been nervous in a long time. I don’t know what it was. I put it down to the jet lag or maybe the fact that I’m heading into a whopping six weeks.

“This is something I didn’t see a few months ago, especially with the firepower at the top of the order, and to get this chance I just want to make the most of it and enjoy myself.

“It’s just a shame I haven’t been there for the last three years because I feel like I’ve played the best cricket of my life. I have to make up for some lost time.”

As for the next few weeks representing the biggest of his career, he added: “I think it’s going to be at the top.

“I want to play with a smile, hopefully get some good results and push as hard as I can to hopefully win a world championship.”

England traveled to Canberra on Monday afternoon ahead of this week’s double header at the Manuka Oval, with the second T20 against Australia on Wednesday night. There’s no need to clear the air with Ben Stokes when we’re focused on the World Championship, insists Alex Hales

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