Batsman Alex Hales, who lost his England central contract last month, has signed for Sydney Thunder in Australia’s Big Bash League.

Hales, 30, was one of three players to lose his limited-overs contract.

He was dropped from England’s World Cup squad for an “off-field incident” – the Guardian reported he had failed a recreational drugs test.

He had previously been suspended over his part in an altercation outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017.

“Obviously Alex is on the outer with the England squad at the moment, but I think he’s still got a lot to offer so hopefully this is another chance for him to show his maturity and make a claim for the T20 World Cup next year,” said Thunder head coach Shane Bond.

Hales, who could still be selected for England in future according to director of cricket Ashley Giles, has not appeared in the Big Bash since the 2014-15 season having previously played for Melbourne Renegades, Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes.

“I really can’t wait to return to the Big Bash,” said Hales, who is currently playing for Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League.

“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.

“Sydney Thunder is the full package. Sydney is one of the best cities in the world, getting the chance to work with Shane Bond – who is a highly respected coach – and it’s a young club, so hopefully I can be part of building a successful family there.

“As an opener you want to be one of the leading run-scorers, so that’s definitely one of my aims.”