With just over a month remaining before the World Cup gets underway, England star Alex Hales took an indefinite break from cricket for ‘personal reasons.’ The right-handed batsman did not feature in Nottinghamshire’s opening Royal London Cup fixture against Lancashire on Friday. The club later confirmed that ‘no timetable has been set for his return’. England receive the news just a week before their World Cup-bound players are due to gather in Cardiff for a three-day training camp.
Earlier this week, Hales made it to England’s preliminary World Cup. In the last four years, Hales has been a regular feature in England’s ODI setup and is one of the biggest reasons behind the team’s remarkable turnaround in ODIs. He, however, had recently found it tough to get regular chances due to Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow establishing a formidable partnership at the top of the order.
“Alex Hales has made himself unavailable for selection for personal reasons and no timetable has been set for his return to action,” Nottinghamshire said in a statement on their website.
Hales only has a white-ball only contract at Nottinghamshire and is yet to play a game this season. In fact, his last appearance at competitive level came during this year’s Pakistan Super League. Things are not quite going well for Hales in the buildup to the World Cup. Last month, an English news outlet had exposed him for allegedly cheating on his long-term girlfriend during England’s tour of the Caribbean. Prior to that, he was banned for six white-ball games, four of them suspended, and fined £17,500 by the ECB for his part in the infamous brawl in Bristol.
Speaking earlier this month, Hales had opened up about the Bristol brawl.
“It’s probably the most excited I’ve ever been in pre-season,” Hales was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. “It’s arguably the biggest summer ever for England with a home World Cup. We are heading in as the bookies’ favourite. Hopefully I can play the part in a memorable summer.”
The World Cup, meanwhile, will get underway on May 30 with hosts England taking on South Africa in the opener. Before that England will play ODIs against Ireland and Pakistan.