Hales axed from England squads ahead of World Cup

Alex Hales is set to miss the Cricket World Cup after he was axed from all England squads ahead of the international season.

The opening batsman was reportedly suspended for 21 days last week for what his spokesman described as an "off-field incident".

Hales was on Monday withdrawn from England's preliminary World Cup squad, as well as the one-day international against Ireland on Friday and the ODI series and T20 against Pakistan.

Director of England Cricket Ashley Giles made the decision "having considered what is in the best interests of the England team" but insisted it did not signal the end of Hales' international career.

He said: "We have thought long and hard about this decision. We have worked hard to create the right environment around the England team and need to consider what is in the best interests of the team, to ensure they are free from any distractions and able to focus on being successful on the pitch.

"I want to make it clear this is not the end of Alex's career as an England player.

"The ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] and the PCA [Professional Cricketers' Association] will continue to aid Alex and work alongside his county club Nottinghamshire to give him the support he needs, to help him fulfil his potential as a professional cricketer."

Hales, 30, and Ben Stokes were last year given backdated bans and fined by the ECB for their part in an incident outside a nightclub in September 2017.

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