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England News

Alex Hales withdrawn from all England squads following drugs ban

Alex Hales will not feature at the World Cup in the wake of his ban for drug use, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Monday.

Hales was included in the 15-man preliminary World Cup squad but it emerged last week that he had been sanctioned under the ECB's disciplinary policy for a second time.

Hales had taken some time off from cricket citing personal reasons but a report in the Guardian newspaper said the hard-hitting batsman was serving a ban from cricket for recreational drug use.

An ECB statement on Monday read: "Alex Hales has been withdrawn from all England squads ahead of the international season."

Hales' latest misdemeanour comes just a few months after he was suspended and fined by the ECB for his part in a street brawl in Bristol which involved Ben Stokes in September 2017.

The Nottinghamshire batsman has been stood down from this Friday's one-off ODI against Ireland in Malahide, the upcoming limited-overs matches against Pakistan and the World Cup.

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."

Hales’ replacement will be announced in due course.

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