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  1. #1
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    "The experience of visiting Pakistan has been brilliant" : Alex Hales

    The Pakistan Super League’s unique role in re-vitalizing interest in Pakistan cricket has been a great success story. From the first edition of the tournament played in the UAE, to a full-fledged domestic marvel in 2020 being played in front of packed houses in Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi – the PSL has quickly become a fan-favourite.


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    Initial doubts about the viability of a tournament of such magnitude being held in Pakistan with foreign players in attendance soon evaporated into thin air as it was revealed last year that over 400 overseas players had expressed a desire to be included in the draft for PSL 5. It was clear that the PSL’s reputation as a well-organized and competitive Twenty20 League had a great impact upon the desire of many of the world’s top Twenty20 specialists to play alongside some of the most talented Pakistani players and their expectations were well rewarded when the tournament began this year on 20th February.

    One of a contingent of 15 players from England plying their trade at the PSL in 2020, Alex Hales is no stranger to visiting Pakistan, but this year, as he explained in an exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, has been a much more interesting experience for him.

    “The experience of visiting Pakistan has been brilliant and for that I would like to offer a special vote of thanks to the guys at Karachi Kings who have made my stay very enjoyable and comfortable. We had an up and down tournament initially but have found our form in good time and hopefully we can keep it up in the latter stages of the tournament.”

    The tragic events of 2009 which resulted in the suspension of visits by international sides to Pakistan was a painful chapter for cricket in the country. More than ten years on from that fateful day and with adequate security measures in place, the PCB has achieved a major milestone by re-introducing top-level cricket in Pakistan which has drawn praise from Hales.

    “It’s been a wonderful and safe experience in Pakistan and to be honest, I haven’t found the security overbearing at all during our stay here. I feel that the organizers have got it absolutely spot on and it’s the perfect combination of feeling safe and not being overbearing. Everything’s been brilliant and the hotels have been fantastic. Also, apart from the outstanding quality of cricket, the best thing about the PSL are the crowds who have come to see the games with many fixtures being sold out.”

    The previous editions of the PSL had seen a limited number of games being played in Pakistan’s traditional cricket centres of Lahore and Karachi but in 2020 the tournament was brought home for the fans in Rawalpindi and Multan with some excellent results. In Multan alone 80,000 people thronged the stadium in three games to watch the PSL stars in action. From a player’s point of view, there is nothing better than performing to the best of their abilities in front of a full-house filled with a passionate and appreciative audience, as Hales explained, “When I came to Pakistan last year, I just played two games in Karachi so now to get a chance to play in front of such amazing crowds in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan is absolutely brilliant for me. The atmosphere in these venues has been electric and second to none and with the standard of cricket being so good, I would say that the full package has been brilliant for me during this stint at the PSL.”

    To have the opportunity to work with a legendary cricketer known to his fans as the Sultan of Swing and to have the counsel of one of PSL’s top Head Coaches is one that players clearly cherish to the maximum at Karachi Kings. The collective experience, according to Hales, that both Wasim Akram and Dean Jones bring to the table is second to none and the team environment for Karachi Kings is ample proof of that effect.

    “Wasim Akram is a legend and I have had prior experience of working with him in the T10 League. I had a couple of games under Dean Jones when I played for Islamabad United last year so I know that both Wasim and Dean are very passionate about what they do and they certainly transfer that passion in the way we play our cricket and are creating a very relaxed environment at Karachi Kings which is great.”

    As in previous years, the immense talent on display at this edition of the PSL is one that has fascinated all observers of the tournament. It’s no surprise that the abundance of skilled bowlers and batsmen which are stand-out features of the PSL have impressed Hales to no end. “The talent in Pakistan as shown in the PSL has been brilliant. In fact, every time you come to this tournament, there is always some new and emerging cricketer who has amazing talents and skills come through. This year, I have been impressed by Quetta Gladiators’ Azam Khan who played a good knock against us recently, and there is the young and very talented Umer Khan who did well last year for Karachi Kings and is continuing to do an excellent job this year too.“

    So, what is it about the huge number of franchise-based Twenty20 Leagues that seems to capture the imagination of players in today’s cricket? Apart from the obvious financial rewards, there is a little more to the attraction of this style of cricket as Hales explains, “The lure of playing Twenty20 cricket is all about rubbing shoulders with some of the best players in the world. It’s really the way Twenty20 cricket is growing where you play with and against some top players and you get to make so many friends around the world. The competition is really tough in these leagues as you are playing in different conditions all the time against guys who know your game very well. You always have to look to improve if you wish to stay one step ahead of your competitors so I feel that it’s a very ruthless but very enjoyable circuit, and the Twenty20 world is something I have really enjoyed over the last two years or so.”

    There is little doubt that the Twenty20 format is an entertainer’s dream and is very popular with crowds, the world over. However, many experts have felt that this style of cricket is having a detrimental effect on the technical abilities of players, especially if they wish to pursue a career in the longest form of the game. This is a point of view that Alex Hales disagrees with wholeheartedly.

    “I am not too sure to be honest about any effects on one’s ability to play Test matches if they play Twenty20 games. The skill-sets required in both formats, especially as a batter, are very different. I think as a young player, any chance you can get to play in different teams around the world with or against different players in varying conditions is actually gold dust. The more you can play with or against different players, the more your game will improve in the shorter or even the longer format of the game. Playing Twenty20 League cricket gives a young player a fantastic opportunity to get out there and meet other players, work under amazing coaches and in different conditions which is excellent for their development.”

    Whilst tournaments like the PSL do provide England-based players with ample opportunities to utilise all parts of the year to play cricket, the county season in England always represents the highlight of the season. This year, however, there is an extra incentive with the advent of The Hundred tournament which Hales is looking forward to with eager anticipation.

    “I always look forward to the county season but this time around it’s a bit more exciting as we have The Hundred tournament coming up. There is a lot of interest about this competition amongst players and it will be good to see how that will pan out. I have a few busy months of cricket coming up back in England and I am really looking forward to it.”

    England’s fantastic triumph in the 2019 World Cup has been a culmination of some tough decisions and the discovery of some incredible talent. The World Champions are now perfectly placed to take on some of the toughest opponents in the Twenty20 format in the T20 World Cup later this year in Australia and as Hales explains, if their current form is any guide the T20 title is well within their reach, “England have a great chance of winning the T20 World Cup as the quality of their white-ball cricket is through the roof. There is some serious talent in the top-order and if they can carry that form of the 2019 World Cup into the T20 World Cup then I don’t see any reason why they can’t challenge the best sides in the world. Every team going into that tournament has their eyes on winning the tournament but if England play well, they have every chance of winning the T20 World Cup.”


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  2. #2
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    I'm really happy that he is genuinely loving here in Pakistan. Hopefully this tournament proves the world once again that Pakistan is a safe country and we get to see all international stars come here without hesitation soon.

  3. #3
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    I agree with Hales that playing T20 cricket shouldn’t affect player’s ability to play Tests. It’s all about adapting to the different formats.

  4. #4
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    Really glad that he has been given great comfort by Karachi Kings, i like that he still rates County Cricket top of his priorities

  5. #5
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    The England and Wales Cricket Board has softened its recreational drugs policy and dropped the clandestine 21-day ban that led to Alex Hales missing out on the World Cup last year.

    Hales has not played for England since the start of last summer after the Guardian revealed he was sitting out matches for Nottinghamshire because of a three-week suspension, rather than the “personal reasons” the club stated at the time.

    This punishment, which also included a fine worth 5% of his annual salary, came after Hales had failed a hair follicle test – the method used to detect recreational drug use – for the second time in his career.

    But under the revised code for 2020, a second offence now results in a 10% fine with no suspension and remains confidential; only a third such violation triggers any kind of playing ban (12 months) and public disclosure.

    An ECB spokesperson said: “We can confirm that there has been an update to the Recreational Drugs Policy for 2020. This was part of a broad consultation involving stakeholders from the wider game including first‑class counties and the Professional Cricketers’ Association.

    “The policy takes into account the important consideration of player welfare whilst ensuring there are meaningful sanctions for each violation. There was further consensus from all parties that any bans will be made public.”

    The removal of a cricketing sanction at two strikes could in fact be viewed as a reduction in deterrent, not least with salaries on the rise under the ECB’s new £1.1bn broadcast deal.

    But the policy change at least ends the situation whereby a player misses games and the paying public is misled, with only senior officials at their club and the ECB, as well as the CEO of the Professional Cricketers Association, privy to the real reasons.

    It saw Ed Smith, the national selector, and the captain Eoin Morgan oblivious to Hales’s true situation when naming the batsman in their provisional World Cup squad last year. Already on a final warning following the Bristol street fight in 2017, Hales was then removed on the eve of the tournament because of what Morgan called a “breakdown in trust”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...icy-alex-hales


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  6. #6
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    Best wishes to Alex.

    Hope he's ok.



  7. #7
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    Former England opener Alex Hales is confident he has matured as a player and believes he is ready to make a return to international cricket.

    Hales was banned from the England national team setup after being caught with recreational drugs in his system.

    The incident led to a change in the Three Lions recreational drug policy, which means if he was caught today he would've received a hefty fine but would not have missed any games.

    Regardless, though, he has not been considered for the England squad at all since his ban elapsed.

    Hales believes he was in the form of his life before the enforced break in action due to the coronavirus pandemic and believes he has matured significantly as a player in his time away from international cricket.

    "Like Morgs has said, I guess time is the biggest healer. I just don't know how long that is going to go on for, that's the only thing. I honestly have no idea," he told the Daily Mail.

    "Obviously, I'd love to get my place back. Playing international cricket is the highlight of any player's career and I still think I've got a lot to offer, particularly in T20.

    "I certainly feel I have matured, as a player and away from the game, and hopefully I'll get the chance to show that in the group environment again. It can be tough to rebuild that trust when you are not in the close-knit circles.

    "This is the best I've played in my career. My England career has been pretty good so far in T20 and that's not even playing to the best of my ability. I'd love to get that chance again. I've moved on and grown from the mistakes I've made in my private life and, hopefully, people can forgive and forget. Hopefully, I get that chance again because I feel I'm in a good head space."

    https://www.sport24.co.za/Cricket/ha...eturn-20200509


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  8. #8
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    Pace bowler Chris Woakes says he would be happy to see Alex Hales return to the England side.

    Batsman Hales has not played for England since being removed from the World Cup squad in May 2019 for an "off-field incident", reportedly failing a drugs test.

    "We all try to pull in the right direction," said Woakes.

    "If Alex is willing to do that then I imagine everyone would be happy to see him back playing for England."

    Cricket is set to return from the coronavirus shutdown in July, and England will next week name an enlarged group of about 30 players who will resume training with a view to playing Test and limited-overs matches.

    With a revamped schedule likely to be congested, necessitating separation between the Test and limited-overs squads, England could call on 31-year-old Hales, who averages almost 38 in 70 one-day internationals.

    When Hales was dropped, captain Eoin Morgan said it was because of a "complete breakdown in trust" and that the rest of the squad supported the decision.

    In February, Morgan said it would take a "considerable amount of time" to regain that trust.

    Woakes, 31, said: "He's gone through a tough time, being left out of the World Cup. Going on to see that team lift the trophy must have been difficult for him.

    "If people have gone away for a time and worked on their weaknesses, they should be allowed a second chance."

    Hales' highest score of 171 was once the England record, and he was the second highest run-scorer in last winter's edition of the Big Bash League, Australia's domestic Twenty20 competition.

    "Alex is as a world-class player," said Woakes. "I don't 100% know what will happen, but I'd be happy to see Alex back in England colours."

    Woakes, 31, was among the England bowlers who returned to training on Thursday, at his home ground of Edgbaston.

    As part of the protocols put in place by the England and Wales Cricket Board, Woakes was required to take his own temperature, enter information into an app, arrive at the ground in his training kit and wash his hands before the session began.

    He has also been given his own set of six cricket balls that no-one else will touch.

    "It's my job, so it was nice to have some form of normality by going back to training," he said.

    "It's been two months since I last bowled, and I was a little sore this morning. The first waddle to the toilet was a bit interesting, but the body is not too bad."

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/52771883


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  9. #9
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    do we know if that he caught covid19 in pakistan- was it confirmed


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by finalfantasy7 View Post
    do we know if that he caught covid19 in pakistan- was it confirmed
    No he did not get covid in Pakistan.


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  11. #11
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    Alex Hales looks set to remain frozen out of England’s one-day setup for some time yet after the captain, Eoin Morgan, scotched talk of an imminent comeback and reiterated the depth of his disappointment at the Nottinghamshire player’s recreational drug ban last year.

    A training squad of up to 45 England players is expected to be named on Friday and with a packed summer schedule also due to be unveiled – one that is unlikely to permit movement between formats with the biosecure measures in place – Hales may have re-entered the mix.

    However, despite some recent contact with the opener he opted to drop on the eve of the World Cup last year – and the senior player Chris Woakes stating last week that the dressing room would likely accept Hales once more – Morgan appears unready to sanction a recall at present.

    “Alex is in a unique position,” said Morgan, at an online event to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the cricket charity Chance to Shine. “On the cusp of a World Cup the huge breakdown in trust between him and the players was extremely dramatic.

    “I’ve certainly spoken to Alex and see an avenue for him to come back. But, like in life and any sport, when there’s a breakdown of trust the only healer in that is time. It’s only been 13 months since the incident. Given that it could have derailed a World Cup campaign, it will take more time

    “It’s not about performance with Alex, he’s a fantastic player and it’s never been discussed as to whether he’s good enough to be in the squad. It’s about on and off the field and values we adhere to. Alex showed complete disregard for them and he needs to build that up for as long as he can and, hopefully, an opportunity will present itself along the line.”

    After a proposed three-match ODI series versus Ireland in late July and three Twenty20s against Pakistan a month later, the schedule for England’s white-ball team looks uncertain. On Wednesday the International Cricket Council moved to play down reports of the T20 World Cup in Australia in October being postponed but such talk remains rife and Morgan said he would be surprised if it went ahead.

    The 33-year-old had been targeting that tournament, and the following edition in India in 2021, and remains hopeful he will lead England for both. Energised by the current break and feeling ready to pick up a bat once more, he even hinted at being around for the next 50-over World Cup in 2023, even if this will hinge on his value as a batsman and the longstanding back injury he manages.

    England are expected to prioritise the intended Test series against West Indies and Pakistan selection-wise, something that could present opportunities for younger white-ball players such as the Somerset opener Tom Banton or Phil Salt, of Sussex, another power player at the top of the order.

    Morgan said he will continue to ask members of the setup for their thoughts on Hales returning one day, given his obvious pedigree. “Teams in the past wouldn’t have been strong enough to make decisions like we did pre-World Cup and then continue to stand by them post-World Cup.

    “And that says a lot about the group. They feel as if they’re completely a part of something that they can take ownership of, because they’ve seen the work that they’ve put in and they’ve seen results. They also have seen instances where a player coming back into a group has the ability to take a lot of energy away and have impact on a lot of other players.”


    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...for-alex-hales


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by finalfantasy7 View Post
    do we know if that he caught covid19 in pakistan- was it confirmed
    He developed symptoms shortly after flying back from Pakistan but never got tested so no way of knowing for sure if it was covid and where he caught whatever he had.

  13. #13
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    Morgan needs to get over it already. Hales is a terrific limited-overs player and should be in the England side.

    13 months is a long time for any cricketer because you can only be so good for so long. He made a mistake, paid for it dearly by missing out on the World Cup, and served his ban. How much more does Morgan want to punish him? Especially when guys like Woakes are saying they would like to see him back in the dressing room.

  14. #14
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    Is it just me or is Morgan being overly dramatic? "breakdown of trust" like chill out, it's been 13 months and he has apologized. It's just recreational drugs he didn't murder anyone lmao.

  15. #15
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    I really respect Morgan and how he is putting his foot down on this thing. Playing for your country is a privilege and once you break that trust, it is really hard to gain that back.
    Same should apply to the convicted fixers of the game but alas Standards too low for some cricket boards.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazam View Post
    I really respect Morgan and how he is putting his foot down on this thing. Playing for your country is a privilege and once you break that trust, it is really hard to gain that back.
    Same should apply to the convicted fixers of the game but alas Standards too low for some cricket boards.
    This means Steve Smith and David Warner should be banned forever?


    Why is Monday so far from Friday, and Friday so close to Monday?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy0204 View Post
    This means Steve Smith and David Warner should be banned forever?
    You are comparing taking drugs, which is literally a criminal offence in many countries and carries death sentences in lot of Islamic countries to ball tampering where you just tried to make surface of the ball abrasive??? Lol..

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazam View Post
    You are comparing taking drugs, which is literally a criminal offence in many countries and carries death sentences in lot of Islamic countries to ball tampering where you just tried to make surface of the ball abrasive??? Lol..
    I suggest you to read the line you commented you said "once you break that trust,it is really hard to gain it back"
    It applies to Smith and Warner.

  19. #19
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    It seems to me that Alex Hales intl career has ended..... well as long as Eion Morgan is captain. I would like to see Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes views on Alex Hales potential return.

    In my opinion, I think Alex Hales should return into the intl setup, he's good enough, he's been a solid LOI opener. I think having a one-on-one conversation with Eion could help both overcome this ordeal.

  20. #20
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    In the end Hales screwed up big time and unfortunately for him England don't miss out a whole lot by keeping him out of things.


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy0204 View Post
    I suggest you to read the line you commented you said "once you break that trust,it is really hard to gain it back"
    It applies to Smith and Warner.
    again you are equating a criminal offence which will lead to degraded performance and impact the team, to an offense which will help the team..though punishable under ICC code.. even if they had got 1 match ban as per ICC no one would have questioned that.
    Australian board imposed the fine.. Imagine if caught taking illicit drugs in Australia, there is no way that player will be allowed to play domestic cricket let alone thinking about international.
    The key point here is "illicit drugs"..which is what he took.. Marijuana i am assuming in this case.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazam View Post
    I really respect Morgan and how he is putting his foot down on this thing. Playing for your country is a privilege and once you break that trust, it is really hard to gain that back.
    Same should apply to the convicted fixers of the game but alas Standards too low for some cricket boards.
    Quote Originally Posted by chazam View Post
    You are comparing taking drugs, which is literally a criminal offence in many countries and carries death sentences in lot of Islamic countries to ball tampering where you just tried to make surface of the ball abrasive??? Lol..
    Quote Originally Posted by HitWicket View Post
    In the end Hales screwed up big time and unfortunately for him England don't miss out a whole lot by keeping him out of things.
    Quote Originally Posted by chazam View Post
    again you are equating a criminal offence which will lead to degraded performance and impact the team, to an offense which will help the team..though punishable under ICC code.. even if they had got 1 match ban as per ICC no one would have questioned that.
    Australian board imposed the fine.. Imagine if caught taking illicit drugs in Australia, there is no way that player will be allowed to play domestic cricket let alone thinking about international.
    The key point here is "illicit drugs"..which is what he took.. Marijuana i am assuming in this case.
    Doing drugs is socially acceptable in the west especially in Europe, a lot of recreational drugs aren't illegal anymore and literally majority of the youth are stoners. There are NBA and NFL stars that do worse drugs like cocaine. Drugs are choice that only affects you, whereas ball tampering is BLATANT CHEATING. In most of the developed world, cheating is illegal and taboo whereas rec drugs are growing to be socially acceptable. Hales plays for England not Pakistan, he'll make a comeback as doing drugs isn't seen as that big deal in the west, now if he had used perfomance-enhancing drugs then he'd be banned as that is cheating like ball tampering.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giannis View Post
    Doing drugs is socially acceptable in the west especially in Europe, a lot of recreational drugs aren't illegal anymore and literally majority of the youth are stoners. There are NBA and NFL stars that do worse drugs like cocaine. Drugs are choice that only affects you, whereas ball tampering is BLATANT CHEATING. In most of the developed world, cheating is illegal and taboo whereas rec drugs are growing to be socially acceptable. Hales plays for England not Pakistan, he'll make a comeback as doing drugs isn't seen as that big deal in the west, now if he had used perfomance-enhancing drugs then he'd be banned as that is cheating like ball tampering.
    Ball tampering is a penalized offense by ICC. Taking drugs is a criminal offense.
    And If NFL player is caught with Cocaine, he will be charged and criminally prosecuted.
    Same for Marijuana, its not free for all in the Western Countries. Its not legal in Australia,NZ.
    In Europe you can only have/carry upto 2-5 gms for personal consumption. More then that you will be criminally prosecuted if caught. Yes its lax, but if a premier footballer is caught with drugs(even Marijuana), his career will be pretty much over. I can't believe people are condoning drugs..Drugs, of any kind are bad for any one.

  24. #24
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    Not included in ECB's list of men’s players who have been asked to return to training, as England Men prepare for the prospect of behind-closed-doors cricket, subject to UK Government clearance.


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  25. #25
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    London, May 29 (IANS) Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels batsman Alex Hales has served his time by missing out on the team''s historic day at Lord''s and should be allowed to get back into the team.

    Hales was reportedly axed from England''s World Cup squad for testing positive for recreational drugs just before the showpiece event in 2019.

    England went on to win their maiden 50-over World Cup title and Hussain believes Hales can''t pay a bigger price than this. He also stated that white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan is pushing things a bit by maintaining that Hales should continue to remain out of the squad.

    "He did the crime but he has served the time and missed out on a World Cup win and one of the great days at Lord''s. Is that not enough of a price to pay?" Hussain said on the Sky Cricket Show as per Daily Mail.

    "I feel Eoin Morgan is pushing this a fraction. It can''t be one rule for one and another for Alex Hales. I don''t know how he wins back trust from the team without being allowed back in the team.

    "How can he get back if they don''t give him another chance? They are being a little harsh now," he added.

    Earlier, Morgan had dashed hopes of Hales'' return and stated he needs to win back the trust of his teammates again to resurrect his England career.

    "I''ve spoken to Alex and see an avenue for him to come back but when there''s a breakdown of trust the only healer is time," Morgan had said.

    "It''s only been 12 or 13 months since the incident which could have cost us four years hard work so I think we will continue to assess things moving forward."

    https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscr...-hales/1849469


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