Limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan isn’t entirely optimistic about Alex Hales’ chances of returning to the England teams for their summer season, following his 21-day ban last year for the use of recreational drugs.
Hales looked set to be in the England squad for the 2019 World Cup but failed a drug test two months prior to the event. He hasn’t played for his country since a T2oI match against the West Indies in March last year.
Morgan, who famously lifted England’s first World Cup title at Lord’s, previously stated that Hales’ return to the team for the upcoming summer of cricket could be a difficult one due to a lack trust between the top-order batsman and the England management staff.
Morgan reiterated that stance during a recent Chance to Shine event, where he said it could be ‘detrimental’ to the successful English set-up if Hales were to return.
‘Alex is in a unique position, probably a position that nobody else has found themselves in before,’ said Morgan.
‘On the cusp of a World Cup, the huge breakdown in trust between him and the players was extremely dramatic, given the circumstances surrounding the four years [between World Cups] and the buildup, and the way that things unfolded.’
Hales has, however, been impressive with the bat on the domestic front since his omission from the England camp, starring for the Rangpur Raiders, Barbados Tridents, Sydney Thunder and Karachi Kings in various T20 leagues.
‘It’s obviously not about performance with Alex. He is a fantastic player. That’s never been discussed whether he’s good enough to be in the squad or not. Playing cricket for England is about on- and off-the-field values that we adhere to, or do our best to adhere to, and Alex showed complete disregard for them.
‘If he can build them up that for as long as he can, then hopefully an opportunity will present itself down the line. But I think, given that it could have derailed a World Cup campaign, it might take some more time, yes,’ added Morgan.
Last week paceman Chris Woakes backed Hales’ return to the team, saying the majority of the players would feel he deserves a second chance to prove his worth on international level.
‘I don’t know what will happen, but I would certainly be happy to see Alex back in England colours. He’s obviously gone through a tough time, with being left out of the World Cup [last year] and then seeing that team go on to lift the trophy – that must have been difficult for him.
‘I think Alex is a world-class player. I’ve played a lot of cricket with him over the years, from a very young age. In a way, I felt sorry for him, but I understood the decision from both the management, the captain and the rest of the team,’ said Woakes.