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‘I think I may have been born in the wrong country,’ says Alex Hales as he comes down for a media interaction following Team Abu Dhabi’s first game of the seventh season of Abu Dhabi T10 against Chennai Braves. The right-handed opening batter has spent the past two seasons at the franchise and exclaims that he is simply in ‘love’ with the city and enjoys spending being away from the cold England winters.

"I absolutely love the weather here. I am English but I love the sunshine and hot weather. It's nice to not be in England at this time of the year (laughs). I love the beaches, and you can get me out there at any time. I am a bit of a beach bum,” he says.

Cricket’s fastest tournament, Abu Dhabi T10, has already engulfed the capital of UAE, with fans clamouring to see exciting action-packed cricket every day. Team Abu Dhabi has played three games so far in the tournament, but have yet to get off the mark in the win column. But despite the results, Hales is enjoying his time in the tournament and explains why he keeps returning to play the format.

“I really enjoy playing in T10. This is my fourth season in T10 - I played in the first two editions, and then I joined Team Abu Dhabi last season. It is a tough format when you are out of form. If you face a couple of dot balls, it is very easy to have a panic onset. But when you are in form, it is a great format to play,” the England batter said.

Hales is one of the few players who were retained by Coach Mark Boucher’s Team Abu Dhabi ahead of the start of the ongoing edition. The 34-year-old praised the team’s culture and expressed his motivations to want to continue playing for the franchise.

"I really enjoy the atmosphere in the team. We have the great Mark Boucher as the Coach who has brought us together. He has huge amounts of experience. We are trying to create a culture where everyone can play freely and the way they want to play,” Hales said.

"I also like the fact that we are playing for home team in the home city and I enjoy the home support which we see out there at the stands. I am proud to play with Team Abu Dhabi, it's my second year here and hopefully many more to come,” he added.

Apart from the beach, the sun, and T10 cricket, Hales enjoys the food and tourist spots in Abu Dhabi. He jokingly admits he keeps putting on weight every time he visits for the T10 tournament.

"I love every food item here. Every time I come here - I put on 3-4 kg. I eat everything. There are so many restaurants to choose from. You are really spoilt for choices. I also visited the Grand Mosque last year which was really special. Also, there are three main golf courses which are among my favourite places. Whenever I get a day off, you can find me at one of the golf courses," the Englishman says.

Presently, a 21-player group of England Lions is having a training session at the Tolerance Oval at Zayed Nursery Ground. Several other international teams have also held their training camps at the Abu Dhabi Cricket & Sports Hub. Hales explains why the facility is becoming a preferred destination for the teams.

"Abu Dhabi Cricket & Sports Hub has a great facility here. We were training here the other day and we looked around and there were awesome tennis courts. There is a bit of everything here. It's a brilliant place to hopefully develop a generation of athletes across all sports and particularly the cricket facilities. There are so many things to pick from. It's a great place to come and play,” he signed off.

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