London [UK], March 12 (ANI): England's director of cricket Ashley Giles is hopeful that top-order batsman Alex Hales will find a way back into the squad this year. He was axed from England's (eventual winners) 50-over World Cup squad for failing a second test for use of recreational drugs. The batsman last played for England in March 2019 prior to the World Cup.
"We all know what a good player Alex is. There has to be a way back in. In these times bringing someone back in -- trying to reintegrate them -- has been difficult to do because we're living bubble life. But I certainly hope there are opportunities to do that this year," Giles told Sky Sports.
Giles' comments came after limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan had refused to commit on Hales' position and said that time would tell if he would make a return to the squad before the T20 World Cup.
"Our position on Alex still remains the same. He's out of the squad. The squad is very strong at the moment. You look at the strength of our squad at the moment and the areas that we're trying to improve... one area we don't struggle for players, it's probably in the top three," ESPNcricinfo had quoted Morgan as saying.
"He's not in the squad and the squad is very difficult to get back into. The player that he is has never been in doubt. Could he return ahead of the World Cup? Only time will tell. But time is a great healer," he had added.
Hales recently enjoyed an excellent BBL campaign and continues to hold the record for the highest T20I score by an England player -- 116 not out against Sri Lanka in the 2014 World T20.
In February, England cricket team's national selector Ed Smith had hinted that Hales might be given a chance when the squad gathers ahead of the summer later this year.
When asked directly about Hales, Smith had said, "We're always looking at ways to consider getting players who aren't currently in the active squad to come along to training days, perhaps in the run-up to a series.
"It's an opportunity to keep growing and expanding that group of players, and keep building those relationships with players who are just outside the actual squad, but that we know are good cricketers. It's something we might consider in the English summer," he had added. (ANI)