Alex Hales withdrawn from England World Cup squad

Alex Hales has been withdrawn from England’s preliminary World Cup squad to ensure the team is “free from any distractions”, the England & Wales Cricket Board has said.

Last week, a spokesman for the batsman said he had been suspended following an “off-field incident”.

Hales, 30, was part of a provisional 15-man squad named for the World Cup.

“I want to make it clear this is not the end of Alex’s career as an England player,” said ECB chief Ashley Giles.

The ECB has refused to say what Hales has done to warrant his withdrawal, citing confidentiality concerns.

Hales missed Nottinghamshire’s One-Day Cup games last week for what the county described as “personal reasons”.

The incident happened last year, and the player’s spokesman added: “While the issue is not cricket-related, he accepted it was right he was suspended.”

The ECB says he has also been removed from the England squad for the one-day international against Ireland on Friday, as well as the Twenty20 international and ODI series against Pakistan.