England batter Alex Hales has said the decision of the England and Wales Cricket Board to pull out of the Pakistan tour last year made no sense to him.

“That decision to cancel that tour made absolutely no sense,” Hales told Geo TV .

“Especially after Pakistan came to England during COVID and helped out the ECB massively. So for them to cancel that tour made absolutely zero sense to me. It was only a short tour, only a few T20s so it made no sense.”

Now in his fifth season at the Pakistan Super League, Hales has more experience of playing in Pakistan than most English cricketers. “I’ve been here four or five times now and get looked after really well,” Hales said.

“Every time we come here, the people are very hospitable and cricket is always really good. The fans here are crazy for it. So, it’s a great place to come and play cricket, I absolutely feel safe.”

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Hales is in his second stint with Islamabad United, having won the league once with Karachi Kings in the past. He has been one of the league’s standout openers, averaging over 44 at a strike rate of around 150.

After ECB’s pullout last year, the ECB and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have since rescheduled that tour and England is now slated to visit Pakistan twice later this year. The team will first arrive in September for a seven-match T20I series, visit again in November-December for a three-Test series.

Hales is not a certainty for the white-ball tour, but he is hoping for a chance to play for the national team again soon. He said he was enjoying his cricket a lot more than earlier in his career.

“I’m just enjoying my cricket a lot more now,” he said.

“I’m into my 30s now so I guess I’ve matured over the last few years away from the game. I feel like I’m playing the best standard of cricket I [have] played in my life and hopefully, I can keep up for the next few years. I think my stats are right up there with the best in the world. So, you know, hopefully, that chance comes around again.”