Eoin Morgan has poured cold water on Alex Hales’s chances of returning to England’s squad for this year’s Twenty20 World Cup by insisting his situation is ‘unchanged’.
The England captain appeared to offer an olive branch this week when he echoed national selector Ed Smith’s claim that the exiled Hales, 32, will be invited to train with England this summer. But he stopped just short of snapping that branch ahead of Friday’s first T20 against India.
‘Our position on Alex remains the same,’ said Morgan when asked about Hales, who was dumped from England’s World Cup-winning squad in 2019 after he failed a second test for drug use.
Eoin Morgan poured cold water on Alex Hales’s chances of returning to England’s T20 squad
‘It’s hard to get back in but his situation is unique. Time can be a healer.’
Morgan did reiterate that Hales, who has been prolific in franchise cricket since he was jettisoned, will be eased back as part of a group of additional players during training this summer.
The captain also insisted the pair have not spoken since the scandal, though Sportsmail understands Morgan replied to a text from Hales last year to say nothing had changed.
Morgan did reiterate Hales will be eased back as part of a group during training this summer
‘We learn more about players by bringing them into the nets. There is an opportunity this summer to bring him in,’ he said.
But the World Cup in October will surely come too soon for Hales, with Morgan insisting: ‘If you look at our strengths, we’re not struggling in the top three.’
One player who will return is Liam Livingstone, who is with the squad for the five-match series in India. The 27-year-old, who has not played for England for four years, said: ‘For the first time, I feel like I belong in the environment.’
Meanwhile, the Equality and Human Rights Convention will be asked to investigate claims of racism in cricket. A letter will be sent on behalf of former umpires John Holder and Ismail Dawood who say they were discriminated against. It also addresses wider claims of racism within the sport.
The exiled Hales, 32, has been prolific in franchise cricket since he was jettisoned
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