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Nottinghamshire make Alex Hales available for all white-ball cricket

Hales has been removed from all England squads, including the provisional 15-man party for this summer’s World Cup.

England’s Alex Hales (David Davies/PA)
England’s Alex Hales (David Davies/PA)

England batsman Alex Hales will be available for Nottinghamshire for the rest of the white-ball season, the county have announced.

Hales has been removed from all England squads, including the provisional 15-man party for this summer’s World Cup after reportedly failing a second test for recreational drugs.

In a statement Nottinghamshire said it was in the interests of “all concerned” for the batsman to return to playing cricket, starting with Friday’s game against Durham.

We believe it’s in the best interests of all concerned for him to get back to playing cricket for Nottinghamshire Nottinghamshire statement

The statement read: “The recent events in relation to Alex Hales have been difficult for everyone involved with Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club.

“Alex’s off-field actions have, at times, fallen way short of the behaviours the club expects from any of its staff.

“Following his withdrawal from all England squads this week, we have met with Alex to express our concerns and to re-iterate that such actions cannot continue.

“The meeting was open, honest and constructive and a way forward was agreed between both parties. Alex has expressed a great deal of regret and contrition for his actions and he has ultimately paid a heavy price.

“He accepts that the position he finds himself in is of his own making. He knows he has a long road back to redeem himself in the eyes of many people, but that now has to be his aim.”

“After much deliberation, we believe it’s in the best interests of all concerned for him to get back to playing cricket for Nottinghamshire as quickly as possible.

“With his suspension now served, he is available for selection for all white-ball cricket for the remainder of the 2019 season, starting with the fixture against Durham on Friday.

“As Alex’s county club, we will work with him, the PCA and the ECB to look after his welfare and to ensure he receives the support and guidance he needs to work through this experience and to prevent any re-occurrences.”

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England coach Trevor Bayliss was not made aware of Hales’ failed tests (David Daves/PA)

The way in which the news emerged, and the 30-year-old’s removal was handled, has attracted criticism but Press Association Sport understands the governing body felt bound by its guidelines, which are now set to be assessed.

Current procedures treat recreational drug alerts as a welfare rather than a disciplinary issue and allow only three individuals – the ECB’s chief medical officer, chief executive Tom Harrison and Ashley Giles, managing director of men’s cricket – to be made aware of the results.

With national selector Ed Smith and head coach Trevor Bayliss among those in the dark, Hales was named in the preliminary World Cup squad earlier this month and invited to a training camp in Cardiff despite being in the midst of a 21-day ban.

After the news broke in the Guardian, and all members of team England were subsequently briefed, the decision was then made to remove Hales from all international squads. That left the player’s management company “hugely disappointed”, with claims that assurances over his World Cup place were “rendered meaningless”.

Some at the ECB are understood to feel the current policy, though well-intentioned, is potentially unfit for purpose.

The ECB may now look to liaise with the Professional Cricketers’ Association to review whether it is robust enough and whether a wider circle of people should be informed of failed tests.

PA

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