Captain Eoin Morgan has outlined a ‘complete breakdown of trust between batsman Alex Hales and his England teammates.
Hales was removed from England’s provisional squad for the 2019 World Cup after failing a second drugs test last month.
‘I spoke to coach Trevor Bayliss at depth. I spoke to all of our senior players – I actually called the meeting with the senior players to discuss moving forward, how it would affect the team, and the team culture,’ said Morgan.
‘We’ve been working extremely hard over the last 18 months to try and build that team culture and established values that we could adhere to.
‘But with this, Alex has clearly demonstrated a lack of respect for these values, and there has been a complete breakdown of trust between the team and Alex. Out of that meeting, everybody agreed that the best decision was for Alex to be de-selected.’
Hales was fined and banned by the England and Wales Cricket Board, too, after being involved in a brawl in Bristol alongside all-rounder Ben Stokes two years ago.
‘We’ve been around a very long time. We’ve been through thick and thin. As a group, culture is extremely important to us. And that resounding theme came out of that meeting, and we felt that moving forward, it would actually have been quite a significant contribution, particularly going into the World Cup and Ashes year,’ added Morgan.
‘We will need at least 15 men to win that World Cup. For whatever way Alex would have dealt with it, the other 14 people would have been dragged down, and that would have been quite a weight, and that didn’t outweigh his performance.’
England and South Africa will contest the first match of the World Cup at The Oval in London on 30 May.
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