Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Alex Hales could potentially not feature at the World Cup as he has been removed from England’s preliminary squad for the tournament after it was revealed that he tested positive for a recreational drug.
In addition to being removed from the preliminary World Cup squad, Hales has also been withdrawn from England’s squad for the one-off ODI against Ireland on May 3, the one-off Twenty20 International against Pakistan on May 5 and the five-match ODI series against Pakistan, which will run from May 8 to 19.
It was reported that Hales is currently serving a 21-day ban as this is the second time he has violated the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) recreational drugs policy in his career.
Prior to this being announced, Hales had taken a break from the ongoing county season, where he represents Nottinghamshire, “for personal reasons”.
It is also believed that the England selectors were unaware of Hales’ positive test when selecting the preliminary World Cup squad.
“The decision has been taken by the ECB Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket and the England National Cricket Selectors, having considered what is in the best interests of the England team,” a statement by the ECB said. “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.”
ECB managing director Ashley Giles added: “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.”
The ECB confirmed that a replacement for Hales for the ODI series against Pakistan will be announced in due course.