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Hales suspended for “off-field incident”

England batsman fully focused on returning to action.

England batsman Alex Hales is serving a suspension. (Mark Kerton/PA)
England batsman Alex Hales is serving a suspension. (Mark Kerton/PA)

Alex Hales is serving a suspension following an off-field incident not related to cricket, a spokesman for the England batsman has announced.

A report claimed that the 30-year-old had been sanctioned under the England and Wales Cricket Board’s disciplinary policy for a second time.

A spokesman for Hales later confirmed in a statement obtained by Press Association Sport that the batsman had been suspended “following an off-field incident last year”.

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Alex Hales has been included in England’s provisional World Cup squad (Mark Kerton/PA)

The spokesperson added: “He will be joining the squad in preparation for next week’s games and will be available for selection. Whilst the issue is not cricket related, Hales accepted that it was right that he was suspended.

“He is now fully focused on returning to cricket and is committed to working tirelessly for both Nottinghamshire and England throughout the summer. No further comment will be made on this issue.”

An ECB spokesperson said: “We have a duty of confidentiality, therefore we are unable to provide any further comment.”

The Professional Cricketers’ Association and Nottinghamshire have also been contacted, but did not respond on Friday afternoon.

He is now fully focused on returning to cricket and is committed to working tirelessly for both Nottinghamshire and England throughout the summer. Spokesperson for Alex Hales

However, Press Association Sport understands Hales has spoken with key figures at the ECB over the last 24-48 hours and expressed contrition.

Nottinghamshire issued a statement last week confirming the batsman had “made himself unavailable for selection for personal reasons” and that “no timetable has been set for his return to action”.

As a consequence, Hales missed the start of the Royal London One-Day Cup campaign but had been selected in the England squad for the forthcoming series against Pakistan ahead of this summer’s World Cup.

He will be involved with England’s training camp in Cardiff this weekend, with England’s first match of the summer taking place next Friday – a one-day international against Ireland in Dublin.

Last year, Hales was suspended and fined by the ECB following his involvement with Ben Stokes in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub during September 2017. All-rounder Stokes was subsequently found not guilty of affray following a six-day trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain says the ECB has a tough decision to make.

He said: “The ECB should send a message out there but this is a World Cup year.

“Bayliss (England coach Trevor) and Giles (England men’s cricket managing director Ashley) have got to decide what gives this side a better chance to win the World Cup…having Hales around, and all the issues around him, or not.

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Former England captain Nasser Hussain, now a pundit, says the ECB has a tough decision to make (PA).

“He’s a very talented young man and has got the opportunity to travel round the world and be a superstar.

“But if Jason Roy has another back spasm, do you want Alex Hales – in the state of mind he’s in – or James Vince, coming off the back of 190 for Hampshire?”

Another former England batsman Rob Key, Hussain’s fellow pundit on Sky Sports, added: “I don’t see how they can pick him. I don’t think it looks good in any situation for Alex Hales.”

PA

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