Hales lost his place in England’s one-day side following the night club incident which saw him quizzed by police and led to his pal Ben Stokes being charged with affray.
Now, vindicated and back with England for the ODI series in Australia, he has set his sights on helping them lift the World Cup next year.
And if that means giving the Aussie holders of the trophy a whitewashing in their own backyard as a forewarning between now and the end of this month, then so much the better!
Hales admits “it hurt massively” to miss two internationals against the West Indies last season for something which happened off the field.
“I guess it’s going to help me enjoy my time in an England shirt a lot more and help met cherish every moment on the field because playing for England is a massive honour,” he continued.
“I have learned from that incident (in Bristol) that it must never happen again. When you are on England duty you have eyes all over you and show responsibility on and off the field.
“It’s been a long few months for me and it’s great to be out here and be able to put other stuff in the past. Now I’m really looking forward to contributing to a series win.”
Hales has three more opportunities to do that, in Sydney today followed by games in Adelaide and Perth. And he’s relishing the chance and the challenge.
“Our aim now is to be ruthless and wrap the series up as quickly as possible. We’re playing really good cricket and we’re in a really good place,” he said.
“But because I have missed two ODIs it has opened up chances for other guys to come in and do really well. So now it’s up to me to score as many runs as I can and keep the pressure on the others,” he concedes.
At the end of the day, though, next year’s World Cup is now his major mission.
“There is a great opportunity for the whole squad and I really want to be part of that,” he said.
“I was gutted missing out over the last couple of months and hopefully I can put all that behind me in what will be two big years for English cricket.
“It’s eyes down now for the next 15/18 months, and it is up to all of us not to get complacent and to be really ruthless in the next games.
“It’s what we have had our eyes on since our early exit in 2015. We had a new group of players come in after that and everyone seems to be peaking at the right time to put in a good challenge next year.”
In the meantime, however, Hales’ thoughts are also with his friend and teammate, Stokes, who faces a hearing into the charge against him at Bristol Magistrates Court on February 13 – the day he was due to make his England comeback in New Zealand.
“Im sure Ben must be hurting having to miss games for England,” Hales added. “He is incredibly proud and we are looking forward to welcoming him back.”