Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England batsman Alex Hales is understood to be “devastated” after he was removed from the preliminary World Cup squad.
In addition to being axed from the World Cup team, Hales was also withdrawn from England’s squad for the one-off ODI against Ireland on May 3, the one-off Twenty20 International against Pakistan on May 5 and the five-match ODI series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.
This stems from the fact that he is currently serving a 21-day ban after he tested positive for a recreational drug.
“We are hugely disappointed at the treatment of our client, Alex Hales, by the ECB following his ejection from England’s preliminary World Cup squad,” Hales’ management company, the 366 Group, said in a statement as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
“Nobody is seeking to excuse Alex’s behaviour in this instance. He absolutely acknowledges and recognises he made a huge mistake. But as part of the ongoing process, both he and his representatives have been involved in many conversations with senior members of the ECB over the past few weeks where Alex has apologised profusely for his actions.
“The ECB insisted on Alex taking certain rehabilitation measures following his suspension. In line with both the ECB and PCA guidelines, those measures must remain confidential. However, at every stage, Alex fulfilled his obligations and both he and his representatives were given assurances that any suspension – again under the ECB’s guidelines – could not affect his selection for the World Cup.”
The 366 Group added that Hales believed he would still represent England at the World Cup since he “took away the message his World Cup place would be judged on playing merit”.
With the company acknowledging that Hales is “hurt” over the decision made by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), it confirmed that the 30-year-old will now “give everything to Nottinghamshire’s cause”.
This comes as Hales, prior to his positive test being confirmed, took a break from the ongoing county season “for personal reasons”.
“The fact all those assurances seem to have been rendered meaningless has understandably left Alex devastated,” the statement said. “He will take time to reflect on both his actions and the subsequent decisions but will receive the support from his team he deserves.
“Until the matter became public, the ECB had fully observed their own process and guidelines and given Alex the support and guidance laid out in those regulations. It is now disappointing to learn these guidelines seem to have been disregarded while, in this instance, player welfare would also appear to be low on their list of priorities.
“While Alex is hurt, the ECB’s decision does not dilute his commitment to the game and he will continue to give everything to Nottinghamshire’s cause. He would also like to wish England team-mates well for the World Cup.”
England will play in the opening game of the World Cup on May 30, where they will take on South Africa at The Oval.