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England's Alex Hales banned from cricket for 21 days for recreational drug use

England cricketer Alex Hales looks on at the P. Sara Oval Cricket Stadium in Colombo on October 6, 2018. - The England Cricket team is currently touring Sri Lanka from 1st October to 27th November 2018. The two teams will engage in 3 test matches, 5 one-day internationals and a T20 game.
Image: Alex Hales has been banned

England batsman Alex Hales has been banned from cricket for 21 days for recreational drug use, Sky Sports News understands.

A spokesman for the England batsman has confirmed the 30-year-old is serving a suspension following an off-field incident not related to cricket.

The spokesperson added: "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. No further comment will be made on this issue."

Hales' county Nottinghamshire said last week that he had "made himself unavailable for selection for personal reasons and no timetable has been set for his return to action".

This was after Hales, who only has a white-ball contract with Notts, missed their opening Royal London Cup fixture against Lancashire at Trent Bridge.

The opening batsman had been a key member of England's one-day international team until the ban and fine he received for his involvement in an incident at a Bristol nightclub in September 2017, which ultimately saw all-rounder Ben Stokes acquitted of affray.

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Hales is expected to feature for England at the Cricket World Cup this summer, with their next ODI against Ireland on May 3 before a five-match ODI series and Twenty20 international against Pakistan.

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