As a 15-year-old, Hales hit 55 runs off one over    Getty Images
As a 15-year-old, Hales hit 55 runs off one over Getty Images

Born January 3, 1989, Alexander Daniel Alex Hales is an explosive top-order batsman who plays for England. At 6 ft 5, he represents that rare breed of batsmen who have a tall frame. Hales started off as a medium-fast bowler but it was his batting that gained him recognition and selection at age-group levels. He was, for a long time, considered to be a Twenty20 specialist. But his consistent outings have handed him One-Day International (ODI) and very recently, Test debut as well. On his birthday, Chinmay Jawalekar looks at 10 facts from the life of the cricketer, who is one of the rising stars of English cricket.

1. Early life

Alex was born to Lisa and Gary Hales in Hillingdon grew up in west London. He attended both Westbrook Hay School and Chesham High School (now Chesham Grammar School) in Buckinghamshire.

2. Sporting family

His father Gary too was a cricket enthusiast and broke several local batting records (including 321 not out for Gerrards Cross versus Chalfont St Peter in a limited overs league match in 1991). His grandfather Dennis was a talented tennis player who once forced tennis legend Rod Laver to five sets at Wimbledon.

3. Rejected as a bowler

Hales was playing club cricket by the age of 10. At the age of 14, he was rejected at a Hertfordshire trial for bowling too aggressively .

4. Batting prodigy

As a 15-year-old, Hales hit 55 runs off one over on the Nursery Ground at Lord s. The over included three no-balls. This knock changed everything and laid foundation for a batting career.

5. Minor County

Hales first represented Buckinghamshire in Minor Counties cricket during the 2006 season, and played for MCC Young Cricketers in the Second XI Championship of 2007. As an 18 year-old opener, he made a big impression while on trial with Notts Second XI, scoring 218 against Derbyshire in only his second appearance and adding a century and two 90s in his next three matches. With a majestic knock of 175 for MCC YCs against Middlesex earlier in the season already under his belt, he was quickly earmarked by Nottinghamshire as a future player and signed for two years.

6. Twenty20 specialist

Strong performances in all forms of the game won Hales an England call-up after just three seasons. He was initially picked up for the Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), where he performed exceedingly well. He also played for a number of teams in the overseas T20 leagues such as Duranto Rajshahi in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), Melbourne Renegades and Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League (BBL) and had a brief stint with Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL). But he had to wait for his turn in ODIs and Tests.

7. Numero Uno

In 2013, after an impressive run in the T20Is including scores of 94 against Australia and 99 against West Indies Hales became the number-one ranked batsmen in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty20 rankings.

8. First Englishman to score a T20I hundred

During the ICC World T20 2014 in Bangladesh, Hales became the first England player to score a hundred in T20Is. Playing against Sri Lanka, his 64-ball 116 not out helped his team chase down a massive target of 190 runs. His knock had 11 boundaries and 6 sixes.

9. A complete cricketer

Hales finally earned his ODI cap for England in August 2014 against India and his Test cap recently in December 2015 against South Africa, thus becoming a complete cricketer and shedding his T20 specialist tag for good.

10. The record breaking knock

In the third ODI against Pakistan in 2016 at Trent Bridge, Halex produced produced an excellent knock with the bat. At his home ground, he went past Robin Smith’s unbeaten 167, which was the highest individual knock by an English batsman in ODIs before Hales’ 171. He hit those runs from just 122 balls, including 22 fours and 4 sixes. Also, his blistering knock helped England set the world record for highest total in ODIs by scoring 444 and beating the previous best of 443 by Sri Lanka.

A self-confessed cricket freak, Chinmay Jawalekar is a senior writer with CricLife and CricketCountry. When not writing or following cricket, he loves to read, eat and sleep. He can be followed here @CricfreakTweets)