Ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019, England's opening batsman Alex Hales has taken an indefinite break from the game of cricket due to personal reasons.
"Alex Hales has made himself unavailable for selection for personal reasons and no timetable has been set for his return to action," ICC quoted the statement issued by the Nottinghamshire club on their website.
The 30-year old was named in England’s provisional 15-member squad for the World Cup, earlier this week. He was also expected to join the England squad for their World Cup preparations at the end of April.
While an official comment from The England Cricket Board is awaited, Hales' withdrawal comes as a surprise to many. Hales has played 69 ODIs for the nation, scoring 2419 runs at an average of 37.8.
A destructive force in the limited overs format, Hales has been England's number three for a few years now. With Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy as openers, Hales has played the role of stabilising the innings in case one of the openers gets out early.
The right-handed batsman has six centuries to his credit, and who can forget his knock of 147 against Australia at Trent Bridge, as England scored a record-breaking 481/6.
England will play their opening match of the quadrennial event against South Africa. It remains unsettled whether the big-hitting batsman will be available for England’s fixtures against Ireland and Pakistan.
A month earlier, the English batsman shared that he is pretty excited to play in the upcoming event. While he believes that this could be the best chance for England to win the World Cup, especially, with the game being played at home conditions, his exclusion from the team is a cause of concern for the English management.
Earlier this year, Hales was handed a six-match ban in limited-overs cricket and fined £17,500 by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for his role in a fight alongside teammate Ben Stokes.
The batsman can still join the England squad in Cardiff next Saturday for a three-day training camp. It would be interesting to see if he returns for the World Cup or someone else would be named as his replacement.
England Squad: Eoin Morgan (C), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jason Roy, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Alex Hales, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, David Willey, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, and Chris Woakes.
(Featured Image: FB/Alex Hales)
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