Bengaluru, April 29: Alex Hales is set to miss the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup after he was axed from all England squads ahead of the international season.
Named last week in England's preliminary World Cup squad, Hales was found to be at variance with England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) recreational drugs policy for the second time in his career.
The opener is understood to have tested positive for a recreational drug in recent weeks and his selection into the the provisional squad meant the English selectors were not aware of transgression.
"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," an ECB statement said, which was shared on their Twitter handle.
ECB Official Statement - Alex Hales.— England and Wales Cricket Board (@ECB_cricket) April 29, 2019
The Nottinghamshire batsman will not travel to Ireland for a one-off ODI on Friday ( May 3) in Malahide and has also been removed from England's squad for the ODI and T20 series against Pakistan and the preliminary ICC Men's Cricket World Cup squad.
A replacement will be named in due course, the ECB statement added.
Commenting on the decision, ECB Managing Director Ashley Giles said, "We've thought long and hard about this decision. We've worked hard to create the right environment around the England team and need to consider what's in the best interests of the team, to ensure they're free from any distractions and able to focus on being successful on the pitch.
"I want to make it clear this isn't 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."
(With ECB inputs)