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Alex Hales dropped from England’s World Cup squad

The batsman was recently banned for 21 days after failing a recreational drugs test for the second time

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Alex Hales has been withdrawn from England’s preliminary World Cup squad after failing a recreational drugs test for the second time.

The 30-year-old batsman, who was expected to play a significant role in the tournament, will also miss the one-off ODI against Ireland, the IT20 against Pakistan, and the five-match ODI series against Sarfaraz Ahmed’s side.

Ashley Giles and the selectors have taken the decision in a bid to create the right environment within the team and ensure that there are no unnecessary distractions heading into the summer.

“We have thought long and hard about this decision,” says Giles, the Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket. “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”

The ECB have confirmed that England will name a replacement for the ODI series in due course. However, nothing further has been said about Hales’ involvement in the World Cup at this stage.

No replacements will be named for the ODI against Ireland or the IT20 in Cardiff.

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