Door slams shut on Alex Hales! The Notts opener is one of the world’s best but STILL can’t make the England reserves two years on from his second failed drugs test
England effectively closed the door on Alex Hales for good when they named a completely new one-day squad to face Pakistan without him.
The chances of Hales, who was thrown out of England’s squad on the eve of the triumphant World Cup campaign in 2019 when it emerged he had failed a second test for recreational drug use, ever playing for England again now look over.
The opener’s last match for England was a T20 international against West Indies in St Kitts on March 10, 2019, while his last ODI was against the same opponents in Saint Lucia eight days previous.
Alex Hales was not part of the emergency England one-day squad following a Covid outbreak
The opener hasn’t played for England since 2019 after he failed a drugs test for recreational drugs ahead of the World Cup that year
The following month, Hales was named in the England squad for the home World Cup that summer.
Two days after that announcement, he withdrew from a Nottinghamshire fixture against Lancashire in the Royal London One-Day Cup for ‘personal reasons’ with no timetable for his return given.
On April 26, 2019, it was confirmed that Hales had been banned for 21 days for failing a drugs test for use of a recreational drug and three days later he was dropped from the England World Cup squad and all England squads that year.
Hales, 32, hasn’t been able to find a way back into the England team despite explosive batting in various short form competitions across the world.
For instance, he was the top run scorer in the 2020-21 Australian Big Bash League season.
Hales last played for England in their white ball tour of the West Indies back in 2019
Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes that is the end for Hales and England
England captain Eoin Morgan described a ‘breakdown in trust’ with Hales at the time but there were indications of a thawing of relations earlier this year.
‘Only time will tell,’ Morgan said in an interview when asked if Hales would be considered for England T20 World Cup squad in the United Arab Emirates later this year.
‘You look at the strength of our squad at the moment and areas that we’re trying to improve – one area we don’t struggle for players, it’s probably in the top three.
‘His position is still the same. He’s not in the squad and the squad is very difficult to get back into.
‘Alex’s situation is obviously very unique. The player that he is has never been in doubt. Obviously time is a great healer.’
Ben Stokes will captain a completely changed England squad after the original set of players was forced into isolation by the positive Covid cases
All change for England
THE OLD SQUAD
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex, captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Tom Banton (Somerset), Sam Billings (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Tom Curran (Surrey), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), George Garton (Sussex), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), David Willey (Yorkshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).
THE NEW SQUAD
Ben Stokes (Durham, captain), Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire), Danny Briggs (Warwickshire), Brydon Carse (Durham), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire), Lewis Gregory (Somerset), Tom Helm (Middlesex), Will Jacks (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Matt Parkinson (Lancashire), David Payne (Gloucestershire), Phil Salt (Sussex), John Simpson (Middlesex), James Vince (Hampshire)
However, his continued omission with England in dire need of fresh players following the Covid outbreak makes it highly unlikely he’ll be part of the World Cup this October and November.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted his disappointment that Hales had not been readmitted to the squad.
‘So no Alex Hales… that must be the end of his international career then… find it very sad that someone who made a huge mistake but was punished can’t be given another go.
‘We all make mistakes every week!!! Those that say they don’t are lying.’
An 18-strong squad including nine uncapped players under the captaincy of Ben Stokes has been named after the whole of the England party and backroom staff were forced into isolation after three players and four management tested positive for Covid.
There are chances for discarded players like Ben Duckett and James Vince while opportunity knocks for newcomers like Durham’s exciting fast bowler Brydon Carse, Gloucestershire’s David Payne and Surrey’s Will Jacks.
‘We’re in unprecedented territory in terms of replacing an entire squad and management team and I’m very proud of how everyone has come together in order to get it done,’ said England team director Ashley Giles.
‘It’s a great opportunity for these players to play on the biggest stage and it’s not something they would have been expecting 24 hours ago.’
The first of three ODIs against Pakistan takes place in Cardiff on Thursday before the second in front of a full house at Lord’s on Saturday. The third is the scheduled for Edgbaston on July 13th in front of another big crowd.
England vs Pakistan fixtures
Thursday – Match one (Cardiff)
Saturday – Match two (Lord’s)
July 13 – Match three (Edgbaston)
July 16 – Match one (Trent Bridge)
July 18 – Match two (Headingley)
July 20 – Match three (Old Trafford)