Morgan, Giles explain reasons behind Hales’ axing


England captain Eoin Morgan has cited a "complete breakdown of trust" between Alex Hales and his England teammates for the reason the opening batsman has been removed from the squad for the summer after failing a second test for recreational drugs, Cricbuzz reports. 

"I spoke to the coach [Trevor Bayliss] at depth," Morgan said. "I spoke to all of our senior players - I actually called the meeting with the senior players to discuss moving forward, how it would affect the team, and the team culture. We've been working extremely hard over the last 18 months to try and build that team culture and established values that we could adhere to.

"But with this, Alex has clearly demonstrated a lack of respect for these values, and there has been a complete breakdown of trust between the team and Alex. Out of that meeting, everybody agreed that the best decision was for Alex to be de-selected."

"We've been around a very long time," he said. "We've been through thick and thin. And, as a group, culture is extremely important to us. And that resounding theme came out of that meeting, and we felt that, moving forward, it would actually have quite a significant contribution, particularly going into the World Cup and Ashes year."

"Obviously, we can't make that decision [to drop Hales], we can only speak to the selectors and Ashley Giles about how the team feel moving forward," Morgan said. "It's quite a big part of our team and what we need to do, particularly in a year that has such significance with the Ashes and the World Cup coming up.

"I have had communication with Alex [since the weekend], I have reiterated that the support is there, and for him to try to utilise it. It's very important that Alex utilises the support and the help put in place by the ECB and the PCA [Professional Cricketers' Association] from here to try and regain that trust."

The episode has overshadowed the build-up to the first ODI of England's home season, against Ireland in Dublin on Friday. With the likes of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow rested, Morgan confirmed that Jofra Archer, Dawid Malan and Ben Foakes will all make their debuts at Malahide CC.

Ashley Giles has admitted that Alex Hales could still have been in England's squad had news reports not emerged of the batsman failing a second recreational drugs test. "When the teams were selected, the selectors and the captain were unaware of any issue surrounding Alex," Giles said.