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KICK HIM OUT; CRICKET COUNTDOWN TO THE WORLD CUP; Vaughan calls for Hales to be ditched from England's World Cup squad as he is banned over recreational drugs.

Byline: DEAN WILSON Cricket Correspondent @CricketMirror

ENGLAND'S World Cup preparations have been hit by fresh turmoil over Alex Hales, who is currently serving a 21-day suspension for recreational drug use.

And former England captain Michael Vaughan is now leading calls for Hales to be axed from the World Cup squad for the tournament that begins next month.

Nottinghamshire's 30-year-old opening batsman is understood to have apologised to the England management for what a spokesman called "an offfield incident last year".

But with the ban only triggered by the second failed drug test of Hales' career, it remains to be seen whether his insistence that he is fully focused on his cricket will be enough to ensure he is retained in the final World Cup squad come May 23 when the final decision is due.

Vaughan (above) is in no doubt what one-day skipper Eoin Morgan and head coach Trevor Bayliss should do with a player who was found to have brought the game into disrepute last year following a late-night street fight in Bristol. Vaughan tweeted: "No sympathy whatsoever for Alex Hales. Second time he has failed a recreational drugs Test!!! Should not be anywhere near the World Cup squad in my opinion."

Hales will still meet up with the England squad in Cardiff this weekend and is currently still slated to travel to Ireland for the first ODI of the summer next Friday with the ban due to finish the day before.

But it is hard to see how managing director Ashley Giles can continue the current wall of silence from the ECB over a player who, while capable of extraordinary feats on the field, is clearly also susceptible to self-destruction off it.

A statement released on behalf of Hales read: "He will be joining the squad in preparation for next week's games and will be available for selection.

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

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

CAPTION(S):

Hales has failed two drugs tests and was involved in a late-night altercation SELF DESTRUCTION

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 27, 2019
Words:367
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