Nottinghamshire fast bowler Harry Gurney has defended teammate Alex Hales’ controversial decision to solely play white-ball cricket.
Notts announced on Tuesday, February 20, that Hales had signed a white-ball only contract with the club until the end of the 2019 season.
He becomes the second England player to sign a domestic white-ball only contract this year, following leg-spinner Adil Rashid’s decision play 50-over and 20-over cricket for Yorkshire.
Gurney stated in a tweet that “the decisions of [Alex Hales] and Rash [Adil Rashid] recently are brave and just the tip of the iceberg.
“Many more will follow them in the next few years.
“Red-ball cricket is an endangered species whether we like it or not, and those who berate them are the reason for it.”
Gurney tweets Hales missed out on the Ashes tour to Australia this winter, following his involvement in the investigation of an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September concerning England teammate Ben Stokes.
After signing his contract, Hales said: “I am grateful to the club for extending my deal.
“I love batting at Trent Bridge – it’s my favourite place to play.”
Nottinghamshire have declined to comment further on Hales’ contract, but Director of Cricket Mick Newell said: “We are looking forward to Alex being involved again with us for the next two years, as he was integral to our success in 50 and 20-over cricket last summer.
“Alex is entitled to make himself available for whatever format he wants to play, and we respect his decision.
“He’s an outstanding white-ball player and we look forward to him helping us win more trophies in that format of the game.”
Hales’ decision may have settled well with his teammates and officials, but many Nottinghamshire fans have expressed their disappointment with his choice.
Dan Clarke thinks this will have an impact on the red-ball format at the Club.
The 23-year-old from East Leake said: “The ECB only have themselves to blame, I don’t agree with the decision but they should have given him a longer run in the Test side down the order.
“Missing a player of his quality is bound to have an effect on the 4-day team.”
Hales helped Nottinghamshire to win both the t20 blast and the 50-over domestic cup last season, hitting a record-breaking 187 runs in the one-day final.