County news May 2, 2014

Worcs bring in Hales as Moeen cover

ESPNcricinfo staff

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Alex Hales, Nottinghamshire's England T20 opener, has joined Worcestershire on a month's loan to cover for the potential absence of Moeen Ali on international duty. Hales goes straight into the Worcestershire squad to face Glamorgan in their Championship match starting on Sunday, which Moeen will miss due to his involvement with England for next Friday's ODI against Scotland.

After the Scotland game, England will play a T20 and five ODIs against Sri Lanka, with Worcestershire preparing to lose Moeen for most of May and the start of June. He could also be included for the two subsequent Tests.

While Hales is likely to be in England's squad for the Sri Lanka T20 on May 20, ruling him out of Essex's Championship visit to New Road, he should be available for games against Kent and Surrey. The loan deal is competition specific, so Hales will return to Nottinghamshire to play in the NatWest T20 Blast on Friday nights.

Hales featured in Nottinghamshire's opening Championship match of the season, making 61 and 0 batting at No. 6, before being dropped. He is keen to continue playing all three formats and had been subject of interest from Northamptonshire. Mick Newell, Nottinghamshire's director of cricket, said it was preferable for Hales to be playing Division Two cricket than with the 2nd XI.

"Everyone at New Road is delighted that Moeen has been selected for England in the fixture against Scotland," Worcestershire's director of cricket, Steve Rhodes, said. "To lose a player of his quality is a blow to the team but to replace him with a loan player who is currently ranked as the number three T20 batsman in the world is a major coup for the club. He is keen to show his abilities in the four day format and impress the national selectors."

Hales passed the 1000-run mark in 2011 but lost his place in Notts' Championship XI last year, when he averaged 13.94 from 18 innings. During the same period, his T20 stock has soared, however. He was ranked the No. 1 batsman in the world until earlier this year and at the World T20 in March became the first England player to score a century in T20 internationals.

Worcestershire are currently top of Division Two after winning two of their opening three games. Moeen, who could be picked as England's next Test spinner, is their second-leading scorer with 209 runs.

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