Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 11 (ANI): England limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan said that top-order batsman Alex Hales has no room in the side as they have “very strong at the moment”.
Hales was axed from England’s (eventual winners) 50-over World Cup squad for failing a second test for use of recreational drugs. The wicket-keeper batsman last played for England in March 2019 prior to the World Cup.
“Our position on Alex still remains the same. He’s out of the squad. The squad is very strong at the moment. You look at the strength of our squad at the moment and the areas that we’re trying to improve… one area we don’t struggle for players, it’s probably in the top three,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Morgan as saying.
“He’s not in the squad and the squad is very difficult to get back into. The player that he is has never been in doubt. Could he return ahead of the World Cup? Only time will tell. But time is a great healer,” he added.
Hales recently enjoyed an excellent BBL campaign and continues to hold the record for the highest T20I score by an England player – 116 not out against Sri Lanka in the 2014 World T20.
In February, England cricket team’s national selector Ed Smith hinted that Hales might be given a chance when the squad gathers ahead of the summer later this year.
When asked directly about Hales, Smith had said, “We’re always looking at ways to consider getting players who aren’t currently in the active squad to come along to training days, perhaps in the run-up to a series.”
“It’s an opportunity to keep growing and expanding that group of players, and keep building those relationships with players who are just outside the actual squad, but that we know are good cricketers. It’s something we might consider in the English summer,” he had added.
Morgan also cleared the air regarding where all-rounder Ben Stokes will bat in the upcoming five-match series against India after his IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals used the English batter as an opener.
“I’m happy with the structure I have. Ben has done really well for us there [in the middle order] and hopefully, that will continue,” Morgan said.
The first T20I of the five-match series will be played at Narendra Modi Stadium here on Friday. (ANI)