IPL 2018: The Sunrisers Hyderabad, on Saturday, announced England’s explosive opening batsman Alex Hales as a replacement for now-banned David Warner. The destructive opener was bought by SRH for his base price of Rs 1 crore from the Registered and Available Player Pool (RAPP) list, a BCCI release stated on Saturday (March 31). David Warner was banned for his role in the ball-tampering scandal. The orange cap winner of last year had led his side to a title win in 2016.
He was banned by the BCCI from Indian Premier League 2018 along with Steve Smith. Sunrisers had named New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson as their new captain. Warner’s suspension had left the franchise with the task to look for an opening partner for Shikhar Dhawan and they have opted to go for Alex Hales, who is the first and only English player till date to score a T20I century.
He is also the only England batsman to feature in the top 10 list of the ICC T20I rankings. Hales has scored 1456 runs in 52 T20Is, averaging 31.65 with a strike-rate 136.32. He wasn’t snapped up by any of the IPL teams, going unsold in the auction earlier in the year. While fellow countrymen like Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Sam Billings attracted lucrative deals, there was no substantial interest for Hales.
The franchise had an option to choose from a list of star players including names like Hashim Amla, Joe Root and Moises Henriques but opted to go for Alex Hales.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals are yet to announce a replacement for Steve Smith. The franchise, however, had appointed Ajinkya Rahane as their new captain. Rahane was bought by RR for Rs 4 crore through Right-to-Match (RTM) card.
The 11th season of the Indian Premier League begins on April 7. In the opening match of the season, defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on the Chennai Super Kings.