England batsman Alex Hales will feature in Australia’s Big Bash League this winter after signing for Sydney Thunder.
Hales lost his white-ball central contract last month after being dropped from the World Cup squad following a suspension for failing a recreational drugs test.
England director of cricket Ashley Giles said “the door is not closed” on Hales’ international prospects and the 30-year-old will look to press his claims for a recall in Australia’s domestic T20 competition.
Thunder head coach Shane Bond said: “Obviously Alex is on the outer with the England squad at the moment, but I think he’s still got a lot to offer.
“Hopefully this is another chance for him to show his maturity and make a claim for the T20 World Cup next year.
“He’s one of the best T20 batters in the world. To have someone of his quality available for the whole tournament for us is a great pick up.”
The big-hitting opener, who recently extended his limited-overs only contract with Nottinghamshire, has previously represented Melbourne Renegades, Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL.
Hales replaces countryman Jos Buttler, who is unavailable for the Thunder this season because of his international commitments.
Hales said: “I really can’t wait to return to the Big Bash. It’s such a hugely-respected tournament around the world. The standard of cricket is amazing and any chance you get to visit Australia and play over there is amazing, so I’m really looking forward to it.