Ben Stokes has maintained that he and Alex Hales share the objective "to win the World Cup" after the Nottinghamshire batter was recalled to the England squad ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Hales has not played for England in three years since being taken out of the squad for the ODI World Cup in 2019 for failing a recreational drug test, and was not named in the initial squad for the upcoming T20 edition.
But a freak injury to Jonny Bairstow while playing golf last week has led to Hales being recalled for the tournament, as well as the squad for the T20 tour of Pakistan, which starts later this month.
Stokes' relationship with Hales is said to have declined after both were involved in a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017
But England Test captain Stokes acknowledged the quality Hales brings to the team.
"Alex is definitely one of the best T20 players in the world and unfortunately with what happened with Jonny we had to call another player up," Stokes told reporters.
"Alex is definitely one of the guys that bowlers don’t want to be bowling at in the T20 format."
However, Stokes was quiet when asked about their current relationship, adding: "My goal, Alex’s goal and everyone else’s goal who is part of that squad is to win the World Cup."