England batsman Alex Hales banned for 21 days for recreational drug use

England Opener Alex Hales Serving Three Week Ban For Recreational Drug Use

Hales, who was named in England's provisional 15-man World Cup squad last week, is understood by ESPNcricinfo to have tested positive for a recreational drug in recent weeks.

England batsman Alex Hales is now serving a 21-day ban after he tested positive for a recreational drug in recent weeks.

"Whilst the issue is not cricket related, Hales accepted that it was right that he was suspended".

Hales could be a valuable member of Eoin Morgan's England side as they attempt to win their first 50-over World Cup.

"He is now fully focused on returning to cricket and is committed to working tirelessly for both Nottinghamshire and England throughout the summer".

Nottinghamshire issued a statement last week confirming the batsman had "made himself unavailable for selection for personal reasons" and that "no timetable has been set for his return to action".

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The drugs violation was reportedly undiscovered after the batsman underwent a routine hair follicle test, which all England men and women cricketers are contracted to undergo at the start and end of every season. It is only after a third positive test result - something which triggers a 12-month ban - that the European Central Bank or the county can tear up a player's contract.

The report adds that the cricketer is still expected to attend England's training camp in Cardiff in the upcoming weekend.

Asked by Omnisport about Hales' situation, the European Central Bank said in a statement: "We have a duty of confidentiality, therefore we are unable to provide any further comment". 2nd time he has failed a recreational drugs Test!

The 30-year-old has scored six centuries and 14 half-centuries in 70 ODI games for England. However, he is still in line to play for England in the World Cup.

It is nevertheless another significant black mark for Hales, who was recently banned for six white-ball games (four of them suspended) and fined £17,500 by the European Central Bank for his part in the Bristol brawl that led to Ben Stokes' arrest and subsequent acquittal. Such a setback just ahead of the World Cup can be a big blow for Hales.

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