On Tuesday reports came out that 7 members of the England cricket team have been found COVID-19 positive. Among the 7 members, three players were affected by the virus. Due to all this,England announced a brand new squad for the limited-overs series against Pakistan. The 18 member squad included 9 uncapped players, but explosive opener Alex Hales was not included in the squad.
Alex Hales has not been seen in England’s scheme of things after the failed drug test and his bad behavior. England decided to go with Jonny Bairstow to open the innings for the team. Even after three years of the matter and performing well across the world in T20 leagues,Hales has not been seen in the team. Captain Morgan once told that Alex Hales is still in England’s scheme of things. However, Morgan also asserted Hales has to wait for getting an opportunity in the national side.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain has discussed the exclusion of Alex Hales from the squad. The new England 18-member team has players like Zak Crawley, Danny Briggs, and Ben Duckett but no Hales. Nasser Hussain believes Hales is missing out on the English side not because of failed drugs test but because of the team’s hierarchy. The England team does not need him back in the squad.
Those involved with the team hierarchy do not want Alex Hales back : Nasser Hussain
“The one glaring absentee from this new-look England squad is Alex Hales. All I can say is that there must be something else at play here — because his non-selection cannot just be about those failed drugs tests a couple of years ago. As we have seen with other recent indiscretions, people forgive, forget and move on. So there must be some other reason those involved with the team hierarchy do not want him back. To use one of their terms, he is now ‘unselectable’ and you must think that under this present regime, the door is firmly closed on him,” Nasser Hussain wrote in his column for Daily Mail.
“From a cricketing point of view — and that is all I can comment on because I have never shared a dressing room with him, nor do I know him — that is a real shame because he is an incredible white-ball batting talent. But, as I say, there must be something else behind the scenes because these are sensible men in charge who will not have taken such decisions lightly,” Nasser added.
England Cricket Board (ECB) has not included Alex Hales in the squad since 2018. Also recently ECB suspended Ollie Robinson for his past sexist and racist tweets.
Captain Ben Stokes will lead the team against Pakistan
Before announcing the new squad England announced Ben Stokes will handle the leadership role of the team. Stokes missed the last series against Sri Lanka but is ready to lead the team against Pakistan. All-rounder Stokes will provide much-needed experience to the squad.
England’s fresh squad: Ben Stokes (captain), Jake Ball, Danny Briggs, Brydon Carse, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Lewis Gregory, Tom Helm, Will Jacks, Dan Lawrence, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Matt Parkinson, David Payne, Phil Salt, John Simpson, James Vince