World Cup 2019: Alex Hales ‘devastated’ after losing place in England squad
Hales for failing the drug test was initially suspended for 21 days and eventually withdrawn from all England teams.
Updated - Apr 30, 2019 4:01 pm
In an incident that recalled the memory of 2003 when Shane Warne was sent back home from the cricket World Cup for testing positive in a drug test, England batsman Alex Hales was dropped from his country’s squad for the upcoming World Cup. The 30-year-old Middlesex batsman was penalised in the wake of being banned for 21 days for taking a recreational drug. It was his second such violation and the extreme step was taken by the English cricket authorities, leaving Hales ‘devastated’.
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 international hundreds. 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.
“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 366 Group said in a statement.
“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.”
Hales was assured but it fell flat
The company said that Hales and his representatives were assured that any suspension under the ECB’s guidelines would not affect his selection for the WC and the cricketer started to believe that his place in the WC squad was judged more by merit.
“The fact all those assurances seem to have been rendered meaningless has understandably left Alex devastated. He will take time to reflect on both his actions and the subsequent decisions but will receive the support from his team he deserves.”
Hales was a member of the England squad that took part in the ICC World Cup but had played in just two games, against Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
England have May 23 as the deadline to finalise their World Cup squad of 15 and Hames Vince’s name has come up as the one who could possibly replace the dropped batsman.