Alex Hales has been a terrific T20 player for England. The obsession with T20 cricket leagues and big hitting is something cricket fans cannot do without. Most major Test playing nations in the world have a T20 league of their own and fans flock in to watch the ball sail to them in the crowd. There are so many T20 leagues at present that it is easy to forget that the format in itself was first played internationally just 12 years back. Wait, what? Surely, that must be the IPL, not T20 cricket in itself. No, it is just 12 years since the inaugural T20 International match between Australia and New Zealand took place. The first T20 game at the domestic level was played just two years prior to that when Hampshire and Sussex trialed the England Cricket Board's concept of a three-hour 20 over each game. T20 cricket has united players in a way that no format has done before. It has increased the flow of revenue to several nations and provided a livelihood to innumerable fringe players. But is it too early to identify a Bradman or a Tendulkar in T20 cricket? Probably not. We have the Maxwells, Dhawans and Gayles. But not many are that popular despite performing well in the format. With South Africa touching English shores for a three-match T20 series, we take a look at the unsung T20 heroes from these countries.The flashy England opening batsman is in his sixth year as a T20 international player and is now the second highest run-scorer for his team in the format. With 1304 runs in 46 matches at an average of 32.60, Hales has carved out a name for himself in the format. He remains the only England player to have scored a T20I hundred, having lambasted Sri Lanka en route to a 116* in the World T20 in 2014.Asie from the hundred, Hales also scored a 99 against West Indies way back in 2012. His T20 career started with a duck against India but progressed rapidly since then as he changed the face of England's T20 batting with his belligerent strokeplay.Given his exploits, which include six sixes spread across two overs in the NatWest T20 Blast against Birmingham, it is no surprise that Hales is among the pioneers of England's ODI renaissance.