Alex Hales: England batsman withdrawn from Cricket World Cup squad after ‘failed drugs test’

The explosive opener's World Cup dream is over, but a replacement will be called up

Ed Malyon
Monday 29 April 2019 10:35
Alex Hales is serving a 21-day ban after failing a second drugs test
Alex Hales is serving a 21-day ban after failing a second drugs test

Alex Hales has been withdrawn from England’s Cricket World Cup squad after the ECB took the decision “in the best interests of the England team” following a second failed drugs test.

After the ECB issued a statement to confirm his removal, managing director of England Men’s Cricket Ashley Giles said: “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.”

Hales announced earlier this month that he had “made himself unavailable for selection for personal reasons”, stepping away from both Nottinghamshire and England selection as the new season got underway.

The explosive opener was, however, expected to join up with England's World Cup squad.

His dream of playing in the tournament now appears to be over, however, with England removing him from all squads ahead of the international summer.

The Nottinghamshire batsman will not travel for the one-off ODI against Ireland in Malahide on Friday and has also been removed from England’s squad for the upcoming T20 international, the ODI series against Pakistan and the preliminary World Cup squad.

It makes life significantly more difficult for Trevor Bayliss, England's coach, who had been hoping to leave the job on a high after the World Cup and Ashes this summer. He is now without Hales for personal reasons, as well as Sam Billings and Ollie Pope through injury.

Billings and Pope have both undergone surgery for dislocated shoulders and will miss months of the season.

England will name a replacement for Hales ahead of the ODI series against Pakistan.

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