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England captain Eoin Morgan has revealed that batsman Alex Hales was removed from the World Cup squad as he “demonstrated a lack of respect” after testing positive for a recreational drug.
Hales was banned for 21 days as a result of the positive test and was also axed 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.
Morgan noted that the decision to withdraw Hales from these squads was taken after he spoke with head coach Trevor Bayliss and six senior players.
“I found out the day it broke on the news, like everybody else,” Morgan told Sky Sports. “That obviously led me to start thinking about the impact it might have on the team and the culture.
“From there, I’ve spoken to the coach at depth and all of the rest of senior players – I actually called a meeting with those players to discuss how this would affect the team and the team culture.
“We’ve been working extremely hard over the last 18 months to try and build that team culture, establish values that we could adhere to. But with this, Alex has clearly demonstrated a lack of respect for these values, and there has been a complete breakdown in trust between the team and Alex.
“It was the six most experienced guys in the team. And myself. We’ve been around a very long time, been through thick and thin and, as a group, culture is extremely important to us. Out of that meeting, everybody agreed that the best decision was for Alex to be deselected.
“Obviously we can’t make that decision, we can only speak to the selectors, and Ashley Giles, about how the team feels.
“I have had communication with Alex. I have reiterated that the support is there and for him.
“It’s very important that Alex utilises the help put in place by the ECB and the PCA from here to try and regain that trust.”