England and Wales Cricket Board have imposed a 21-day ban on batsman Alex Hales for his use of a recreational drug, the Guardian reported.
Last week, Hales’ club side Nottinghamshire has stated that the 30-year-old was taking an indefinite break due to “personal reasons”. As it turns out, though, Hales has been found guilty of using a banned recreational drug for the second time in his career.
The opener is understood to have tested positive for a recreational drug in recent weeks and his selection into the the provisional squad means the English selectors were not aware of transgression.
Hales was suspended and fined by England last year after he and Ben Stokes were involved in a street fight outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017.
His drugs violation was detected after he underwent a routine hair follicle tests, which all professional cricketers in England are required to undergo at the start and end of every season. The test can detect substances in the system for up to three months.
Hales has been named in England’s preliminary World Cup squad and is still expected to join a preparatory camp in Cardiff this weekend.
The right-hander has been an important member in the 2019 World Cup hosts’ rise as a One-day International force in recent times, but has fallen behind the pecking order after the emergence of Jonny Bairstow as an opener alongside Jason Roy.
England will be playing ODIs against Ireland and Pakistan ahead of the World Cup. England will be playing their opening match of the quadrennial event against South Africa. Hales’s availability for the tournament is still uncertain.