Alex Hales' England World Cup omission follows 'breakdown in trust'

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'Complete breakdown in trust between Hales and team' - Morgan
Ireland v England, only one-day international
Venue: Malahide Date: Friday, 3 May
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW, online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

A "complete breakdown in trust" led to Alex Hales being left out of England's World Cup squad, a decision that was endorsed by senior players, according to captain Eoin Morgan.

Hales was withdrawn after an "off-field incident", reportedly a positive test for recreational drugs.

"Everybody in a senior players' meeting agreed that the best decision was for Alex to be deselected," said Morgan.

"We believe it is the right call, made considering everyone in the squad."

England play Ireland in a one-day international in Dublin on Friday.

Morgan confirmed to BBC Sport that pace bowler Jofra Archer will make his England debut in Malahide.

The 24-year-old was born in Barbados to an English father and qualified to play for England in March.

He will have the chance to force his way into the World Cup squad during the game against Ireland and five games against Pakistan that follow.

Batsman Dawid Malan and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes will also make ODI debuts.

Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales
Morgan (left) has been England captain in 61 of Hales' 70 one-day internationals

'A disregard for values'

Batsman Hales, 30, initially took time away from the game for what his county Nottinghamshire called "personal reasons".

On Friday, 26 April, with England due to meet for a training camp, his management confirmed he was serving a 21-day suspension for an "on-field incident".

He was withdrawn from the World Cup squad on the following Monday, though the England and Wales Cricket Board are still yet to confirm why he has been removed, citing confidentiality concerns.

It was for reasons of confidentiality, set out in the ECB's own guidelines, why Morgan did not know of Hales' suspension until reports emerged in the media.

Speaking on Thursday, Morgan explained that he was unaware of any problems when England named their provisional World Cup squad on 17 April.

Indeed, Hales' management later claimed that the player was given assurances over his place in the World Cup squad, even though he was serving a suspension.

Morgan, though, said that Hales' actions were at odd with the team's "culture", one that they had been working to adopt since Hales and Ben Stokes were involved in an altercation outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017.

"We have worked extremely hard over the last 18 months to establish our culture and work towards values that everyone across all three formats could adhere to, respect and relate to," said Morgan.

"We have been at that stage for six or seven months. They are in place. There has been a complete disregard for those values.

"There has been a complete breakdown in trust between Alex and the team. Everybody in the senior players' meeting agreed that the best decision for the team and the culture moving forward was for Alex to be deselected.

"We don't make that final call. I communicated this to Ashley Giles and the decision was made. It's important now that Alex uses the support around him to try to turn things around."

'I trusted him'

Morgan also confirmed that he spoke to Hales after he was dropped, but that Hales had previously declined to reveal to the skipper why he was missing Nottinghamshire games before news of the suspension emerged.

"Nobody knew," said batsman Morgan. "When Alex was missing games for Notts I sent him a text to make sure he was alright.

"He said it was personal reasons and he needed time away from the game, but didn't indicate anything was awry.

"I trusted him. The news that has come out has potential to grow and creates a situation that we needed to address."

Middlesex's Morgan also allayed any concerns that the Hales affair would have any impact on England's chances of winning the World Cup, a tournament on home soil in which they will start as favourites.

"One of the signs of a strong, player-led culture is that you can make a big decision close to a major tournament or something you have been looking forward to," he said.

'Guys getting on really well'

England have been the premier side in one-day cricket for much of the period since the 2015 World Cup.

Archer has become eligible for this year's tournament after a change in the ECB's eligibility criteria and he has been selected at the first opportunity.

Though he was not named in England's preliminary 15-man World Cup squad, he and fellow bowler Chris Jordan could yet force a way in before the final squad is confirmed.

However, there have been hints that some of the current squad of fast bowlers are uneasy at Archer's late arrival.

In March, David Willey said he "didn't know" if "someone should just walk in at the drop of a hat because they're available".

In addition, Mark Wood has spoken about not wanting to see an established bowler left out, while Chris Woakes raised similar concerns.

Morgan, though, said that all of the squad are "getting on really well".

"There is no malice between any of them," he said. "There is nothing going on.

"It's exciting. That we're open to improving our squad right up until the eve of the World Cup shows how serious we are about being the best we can be."

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