England batsmen Alex Hales has been dropped from all England squads ahead of the international season.
It was reported that he had been banned from cricket for three weeks for failing a second drugs test. He has since been removed from England’s preliminary squad for the World Cup, as well as their squads to face Ireland and Pakistan before the tournament.
“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,” said an ECB statement.
Ashley Giles, the ECB’s managing director of England Men’s cricket, indicated that Hales’ international career need not be finished.
“Although I am a generally sympathetic person and compassionate observer, on Alex Hales’ case, if what we read is true, then I am broadly unsympathetic because of the context of the situation.”https://t.co/sII5mCYKDd
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) April 28, 2019
“We have thought long and hard about this decision,” said Giles. “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.”
Hales averages 38 from 70 ODIs with six centuries, and has top-scored on both occasions in which England broke the world record for the highest ODI score, against Pakistan in 2016 and against Australia in 2018.
His replacement in each squad is to be named in due course, with James Vince, picked in the squad to face Ireland and in form, having scored 190 for Hampshire in a recent One-Day Cup match against Gloucestershire. England could also take the opportunity to add Jofra Archer to the World Cup squad, considering that, in Joe Denly, they already have a back-up batsman in the squad.