Days after being banned for the use of recreational drugs, England batsman Alex Hales has been withdrawn from all England squads ahead of the international season. This means that he is no longer part of England's preliminary squad for the World Cup.
This decision was taken by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after they decided that taking out the right-hander from the squad was in the best interests of England cricket and England team. There was a lot of talk around the environment in the dressing room and they felt that having Hales in the mix would lead to a lot of unnecessary distractions which the team can ill-afford leading into the marquee tournament.
ECB release official statement
ECB in a statement said, "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. 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."
Hence, following this verdict, he will not be able to travel to Ireland for the one-off ODI. Also, he will not be a part of England's squad for the Vitality IT20, the Royal London ODI series against Pakistan and the preliminary ICC Men's Cricket World Cup squad.
Ashley Giles, ECB Managing Director of England Men's Cricket, 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," he further added.
A replacement for Ireland as well as Pakistan series will be named in the immediate future. However, no such announcement was made for the World Cup squad.
Earlier this month, Ale Hales was slapped with a ban for 21 days for recreational drug use and has not played for Nottinghamshire this season after he made himself unavailable for the county owing to "personal reasons".