Alex Hales will return to champions Islamabad United for the Pakistan Super League play-off stage, while England team-mate Chris Jordan resumes with Peshawar Zalmi following his Player-of-the-Series performance in the T20Is against West Indies.
Hales appears to have put behind him any security fears about playing on the subcontinent which caused him to pull out of England’s 2016 one-day series in Bangladesh, along with Eoin Morgan, following a terrorist attack earlier that year.
The PSL has arranged for eight fixtures to be played in Pakistan this year – more than any of its previous three seasons – with Hales available to play in the first of what could potentially be three fixtures, when Islamabad face Karachi Kings in the Qualifier on Thursday.
Hales played for Rangpur Riders in the BPL earlier this year, making 304 runs in eight games at a strike-rate of 167.03 with a century and two fifties before returning to England with a shoulder injury that placed him in doubt for the tour of the Caribbean. Hales played in the last two ODIs against West Indies, scoring 82 and 23, and all three T20 games in England’s 3-0 series sweep, scoring 11, 8 and 20.
Ranked 10th in the ICC’s T20I batting rankings, he also played four matches last season for Islamabad United, where he is replacing Ian Bell this time around after Bell’s stint was cut short by a leg injury late last month.
“I am delighted to be back with Islamabad United for this year’s HBL Pakistan Super League and I can’t wait to play in front of our passionate fans,” Hales said. “We have seen exciting cricket at the HBL PSL this year and Islamabad United has put in some excellent performances. I look forward to joining the squad and I hope that I can help the team lift the trophy once again.”
Jordan, who played in Pakistan in last year’s final, rejoins Peshawar Zalmi after leaving midway through the season on national duty, having claimed 2 for 16, 4 for 6 and 0 for 14 as well as starring in the field during the three T20s against West Indies.
Peshawar Zalmi face Quetta Gladiators in the qualifier on March 13, while Islamabad United play the first eliminator against Karachi Kings on March 14.