Cricket Expert & Columnist
Alex Hales must address issues as England World Cup spot is cast in doubt, says Nasser Hussain
England's Alex Hales banned from cricket for 21 days for alleged recreational drug use
Last Updated: 29/04/19 11:17am
Nasser Hussain says Alex Hales must ask questions of himself after reports emerged that he is serving a 21-day ban for alleged recreational drug use.
A spokesman for the England batsman confirmed on Friday that the 30-year-old is serving a suspension following an off-field incident not related to cricket.
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 T20 international against Pakistan, but off-field misdemeanours mean his spot in the squad could now be in jeopardy.
"Hales himself has admitted recently in a press interview that he has made some bad decisions over time," Hussain told Sky Sports. "If, and I repeat if, he has done this, it's another terrible decision.
"He has been done once for recreational drugs. He has been done with Ben Stokes for being out in [Bristol], the incident which has been well documented. And now he could get done here with a month to go till the World Cup.
"What should the ECB do about it? In general, I would say take a principled stand on it and send a message out there. But, you know what, this is a World Cup year and some of those lads, some of the fans, have waited four years - more than four years - to have their side try and win a World Cup.
"[Head coach] Trevor Bayliss and [managing director] Ashley Giles have to decide between them, what gives this England side a better chance to win that World Cup?
"He may well already be, after previous misdemeanours, on his last warning."
"This is a very talented young man; Why does he keep shooting himself in the foot? Why does he need to do these sort of things?"
Hussain on Hales
As well leaving Bayliss, Giles and the England Cricket Board with plenty to ponder ahead of the World Cup, Hussain says Hales needs to reflect inwardly and ask why these things keep happening to him.
"Sometimes, instead of asking what the ECB are going to do about it, what the ICC are going to do about it, what are his team-mates going to do about it, what are Bayliss and Giles going to do about it; what is Hales himself going to do about it?
"This is a very talented young man; these cricketers now have opportunities to travel the world and be superstars around the world. Why does he keep shooting himself in the foot? Why does he need to do these sort of things?
"If Jason Roy has another back spasm in the first game of the World Cup, who do you want to play instead? Do you want Hales in his state of mind at the moment, or do you want James Vince - coming off the back of 190 for Hampshire.
"There have to be cricketing decisions made by Bayliss and Giles as we speak."
Fellow former England player and Sky Sports pundit Rob Key said he wouldn't pick Hales for the World Cup if the allegations are true.
"To put your whole career at risk by doing recreational drugs, if he has done that; as far as the World Cup comes, I don't see how they can pick him, personally.
"He is either in no fit state to play in the World Cup and represent England, or he has made a horrendous decision and so doesn't deserve to play for England.
"It doesn't look good in any situation for Hales."