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Hales axed from England’s WC squad after drugs banq 

London, April 29

Alex Hales has been withdrawn from England’s preliminary World Cup squad to avoid any “unnecessary distractions” ahead of the showpiece tournament, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said. Hales, who was named in England’s preliminary World Cup squad, is serving a three-week ban for recreational drug use.

“We’ve worked hard to create the right environment around the England team and need to consider what is in the best interests of the team…” Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, Ashley Giles, said in a statement. “I want to make it clear this is not the end of Alex’s career as an England player. 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 Nottinghamshire batsman will not travel to Ireland for a one-off ODI on Friday and has also been removed from England’s ODI and T20I squads against Pakistan. Hales was fined and suspended for his involvement in a nightclub altercation in 2017, when teammate Ben Stokes was also involved. 

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