Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

Alex Hales dropped from England squad after drugs ban

Alex Hales ECB withdraws batsman from England’s preliminary World Cup squad England opener Alex Hales has been dropped after his drugs ban
Shannon Reynolds | 01 May, 2019, 00:15

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have chose to withdraw Alex Hales from all squads ahead of the global season following his 21-day ban for using recreational drugs.

"We are hugely disappointed at the treatment of our client, Alex Hales, by the European Central Bank following his ejection from England's preliminary World Cup squad", the company said in a statement.

"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", Managing Director of England Men's Cricket, Ashley Giles, said.

Ashley Giles, ECB managing director of England Cricket, was insistent this was not the end of the line for Hales' worldwide career when announcing the decision to drop him.

"The ECB and the PCA (Professional Cricketers' Association) will continue to aid Alex.to give him the support he needs to help him fulfil his potential as a professional cricketer".

Hales had recently failed a recreational drug test and is serving a 21-day ban handed down by European Central Bank.

A spokesman for Hales last Friday confirmed the Nottinghamshire batsman had been suspended "following an off-field incident last year".

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England is yet to name Hales' replacement for the 2019 ICC World Cup, where hosts England will begin their campaign against South Africa on May 30.

This is the second time Hales had been suspended following his punishment and fine for an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017.

Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy have been the preferred opening pairing in the last 18 months though Hales, with 2,419 ODI runs at 37.79 and six centuries, was thought of by many as an enviable back-up option.

Hales's management team released a statement expressing their disappointment that the "confidential matter" regarding their client was made "public" and hit back at the European Central Bank over the decision to freeze him out. The ECB insisted on Alex taking certain rehabilitation measures following his suspension.

England opener Alex Hales will not be part of his national team's squad that travels to Dublin for Friday's one-off ODI against Ireland. "In line with both the European Central Bank and PCA (Professional Cricketers´ Association) guidelines, those measures must remain confidential". The cricketer had been assured that the drug test episode would not affect his World Cup prospects but eventually he was dropped and it had affected him more, sources close to him said.

Hales, who hasn't played cricket of late citing personal reasons, has been one of England's batting pillars in the limited-overs formats with seven worldwide hundreds.

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