Hales hasn’t made the England squad since being ejected from the team before the 2019 World Cup after allegedly using recreational drugs. The 31-year-old has taken to playing franchise cricket since, including in the BBL and the PSL earlier this year, and his form in these tournaments have served as a reminder of his enduring abilities.
However, he has been left out of England’s squads, and wasn’t part of the 55-member squad training ahead of the potential return of international cricket next month. Vaughan believes he has paid his price and deserves a second chance.
“I think this is harsh. He made big, big mistakes, and he paid for it – he wasn’t part of the World Cup, he wasn’t a part of that World Cup-winning side,” the former England captain said in the Tuffers and Vaughan podcast. “I always think players deserve a second chance. He’s gone and played a few leagues, he’s played OK.
“I know you split it 55 players, not all of them are white-ball specialists – but say 28 for the Tests, 27 for white balls … you can’t tell me that Alex Hales isn’t in the best 27 white-ball players in this country. He has to be.”
Vaughan said Hales’ treatment was a “shame”, but while he urged Morgan to reconsider, he doesn’t think the opener can play for England again so long as Morgan is at the helm. “I can’t see how he plays again while Eoin Morgan is captain,” he said. “That’s clearly the message Eoin is sending that, ‘While I’m in charge, Alex, you’ve got no chance of playing for England’.
“I love Eoin Morgan. I think he’s a brilliant leader, he’s the best one-day captain we’ve ever had, by a country mile. But I think in this regard, sometimes, you just have to look yourself in the mirror and go, ‘He’s a human being. Has he done anything wrong since he missed the World Cup?’ Has he played well? Yes. Has he done anything wrong that’s gone against the disciplines of the game? No. Does he deserve to be in the best 27-28 white-ball players in the country? I would suggest that he does.
Alex Hales. Good, isn’t he?pic.twitter.com/eUI9nDdlCA
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) May 30, 2020
Vaughan also called for the selection panel to explain their decision to not include Hales in the 55-member training squad. “I was disappointed last week when the squad of 55 was announced, we didn’t hear from the selection panel, particularly the chairman Ed Smith, just to explain. I’d like to hear from him why.
“We’ve heard kind of ‘he’s gone against [team principles]’ … that was last year. I personally think he deserved another chance. When you think that we’ve got a T20 World Cup potentially in a few months, he deserves a second chance if you do a little bit of time, and I think he’s done that. I’m surprised he’s not in the squad.”