England batsman Alex Hales has been withdrawn from the 15-member national squad for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup, which is slated to take place at their home turf from May 30 to July 14.
Besides this, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has also decided to drop Hales for the lone ODI against Ireland and the subsequent limited-overs fixtures against Pakistan in May after the batsman was tested positive for recreational drug use.
Talking about the same, ECB managing director Ashley Giles said that the decision has been taken keeping in mind the best interest of the national side and in order to create the right environment around the team.
“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," the International Cricket Council (ICC) quoted Giles as saying.
Giles, however, clarified that this is not the end of Hales' playing career and that the ECB and the Players Cricket's Association (PCA) would continue to aid the batsman and provide him with all the necessary support needed to fulfill his cricketing career.
On Monday, the Guardian reported that Hales is currently serving a 21-day ban after failing a second drugs test of his career, which has also resulted in him being fined five percent of his annual salary.
Earlier this month, Hales' English county side Nottinghamshire had announced that the batsman has made himself unavailable for selection for personal reasons and that no timetable has been set for his return to action.
England is yet to name Hales' replacement for the 2019 ICC World Cup, where hosts England will begin their campaign against South Africa on May 30.