Alex Hales Withdrawn From England World Cup Squad After Drug Ban
England have omitted Alex Hales from their squads including the World Cup one ahead of the international season in the wake of his 21-day ban for using recreational drugs. A week ago, Hales had pulled out of Nottinghamshire’s Royal London Cup campaign, shortly after the World Cup squad was announced. At that time, the county had announced that Hales took an indefinite break due to undisclosed personal reasons.
Later, media reports in England confirmed that Hales was banned for the use of recreational drug.While the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) did not give an official update on the issue, a spokesperson from the board confirmed that Hales is serving a suspension following an off-field incident not related to cricket
The drugs violation is understood to have been detected after Hales underwent a routine hair-follicle test, which all professional men’s cricketers and centrally contracted women’s players undergo at the start and finish of every season.
According to an ECB statement, the decision has been taken by Ashley Giles, ECB’s Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, and the England National Cricket Selectors, headed by Ed Smith, having considered what is in the best interests of the England team.
“Consideration was given to creating the right environment within the team and ensuring that there are no unnecessary distractions and that the team is in the best position to succeed going into this crucial period,” read the statement.
As a result of the latest verdict by the ECB, Hales will not travel to Ireland for a one-off OD and has also been removed from England’s squad for the T20I, the ODI series against Pakistan, and the preliminary ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup squad.
Commenting on the decision, Giles said:
“We have thought long and hard about this decision. We have worked hard to create the right environment around the England team and need to consider what is in the best interests of the team, to ensure they are free from any distractions and able to focus on being successful on the pitch.
“I want to make it clear this is not the end of Alex’s career as an England player. The ECB and the PCA will continue to aid Alex and work alongside his county club Nottinghamshire to give him the support he needs, to help him fulfil his potential as a professional cricketer.”
England will name a replacement for the ODI series against Pakistan in due course.
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