The management firm which represents suspended England batsman Alex Hales has openly criticised the ECB for withdrawing the Notts player from the World Cup squad.
Hales was handed a 21-day ban from cricket by the governing body for an ‘off-field incident’, with the Guardian reporting it was a result of recreational drug use.
366 Group, the company which manages Hales, claimed their client had been left ‘devastated’ by the team’s decision to remove Hales from their preliminary World Cup squad.
A matter made worse after following step-by-step rehabilitation measures outlined by the ECB.
“We are hugely disappointed at the treatment of our client, Alex Hales, by the ECB,” Hales’ representatives said in a statement.
“The ECB insisted on Alex taking certain rehabilitation measures following his suspension,” the statement added. “In line with both the ECB and PCA (Professional Cricketers’ Association) guidelines, those measures must remain confidential.
“However, at every stage, Alex fulfilled his obligations and both he and his representatives were given assurances that any suspension, again under the ECB’s guidelines, could not affect his selection for the World Cup.”
Early last year, Hales laid his Test career on the line to pursue a World Cup dream by signing a white-ball contract with Notts.
Off-field issues have meddled with his plans despite remaining a core member of England’s ODI team.
Hales was suspended and fined by the ECB for being party to a street brawl involving Ben Stokes in September 2017 and requested he was not considered for selection for his county’s Royal London One-Cup match against Lancashire earlier this month, citing ‘personal reasons’.
The 30-year-old will play no part in England’s matches against Ireland and Pakistan, with Hampshire batsman James Vince called up as his replacement for the series against Sarfraz Ahmed’s side.
England director of men’s cricket, Ashley Giles, stressed
“I want to make it clear this is not the end of Alex’s career as an England player.”