Alex Hales is understood to be devastated after being withdrawn from England’s provisional World Cup squad following last week’s revelation he had been suspended for an off-field incident not related to cricket.
England say they have “considered what is in the best interests of the team…to ensure they are free from any distractions” in dropping Hales from all squads ahead of the international season.
The 30-year-old Nottinghamshire batsman is therefore set to miss the one-off one-day international against Ireland in Malahide on Friday and the limited-overs series against Pakistan which follows, as well as the World Cup campaign.
ECB Official Statement - Alex Hales.— England and Wales Cricket Board (@ECB_cricket) April 29, 2019
His replacement for the five-match ODI series against Pakistan, with Hampshire captain James Vince reported to be the early candidate to succeed Hales, will be announced in due course.
Press Association Sport understands Hales is devastated by the news.
Ashley Giles, ECB managing director of England 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.
“The ECB and the PCA (Professional Cricketers’ Association) 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.”
Hales, on a white-ball only deal with Nottinghamshire, missed the start of the Royal London One-Day Cup campaign, with his county saying he was absent due to “personal reasons”.
But it emerged last week he had been sanctioned under the England and Wales Cricket Board’s disciplinary policy for a second time as a spokesperson for the batsman said he had been suspended for an “off-field incident”.
His latest misdemeanour comes only a few months after he was suspended and fined by the ECB’s Cricket Discipline Commission for his role in the notorious Bristol street brawl, also involving international team-mate Ben Stokes, in September 2017 as well as social media posts.
The fallout from the controversy led to Hales losing his place in the ODI team as Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy established a highly successful opening partnership.
Hales, with 2,419 runs in 70 ODIs at an average of 37.79 and six centuries, was thought of by many as an enviable back-up option in an England batting line-up laden with big-hitting talent.
Now, though, he faces missing a monumental summer for England as they look to win a 50-over global trophy for the first time.