England batsman Alex Hales will not feature at the World Cup after being withdrawn from all international squads following an off-field incident not related to cricket, the ECB said on Monday.
Hales was included in the 15-man preliminary World Cup squad for the tournament but it emerged last week that he had been sanctioned under the ECB’s disciplinary policy for a second time.
A report in the Guardian said Hales was serving a ban from cricket for recreational drug use.
An ECB statement on Monday said: “Alex Hales has been withdrawn from all England squads ahead of the international season.”
Ashley Giles, ECB managing director of England Men’s Cricket, 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.”
Hales has played 11 Tests, 70 ODIs and 60 T20Is but is now regarded as a white-ball specialist.