England quick Chris Woakes has said he would be “happy to see Alex [Hales] back in England colours”, over a year on from the batsman’s last international appearance.
Hales was removed from England’s preliminary squad for the 50-over World Cup last year after receiving a ban for recreational drug use. Earlier this month, England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan said that “the door is open” for Hales’ return, but the opener needed to regain the trust of his teammates.
In an interview with the Daily Mail that followed Morgan’s remarks, Hales added that he’d “grown from the mistakes I’ve made in my private life” and made his case for a recall following a winter of heavy run-scoring in various T20 leagues. With England likely to form two separate red- and white-ball squads for any international cricket that might be played this summer, Hales could well be in the frame for a comeback.
Speaking on Friday, Woakes, initially said he didn’t “know 100 per cent if it’s the right decision” to recall Hales and that it wasn’t his choice to make, but added: “I’m a believer that people serve their time so to speak – he’s gone through a tough time being left out of the World Cup, and going on to see that team lift the trophy must have been difficult for him.
“I think if people have gone away for a time and worked on their weaknesses they should be allowed a second chance. Alex is a world-class player. I have played a lot of cricket with him from a young age actually. In a way I felt sorry for him but I understood the decision from the management, captain and rest of the team.
“I don’t 100 per cent know what will happen but I’d be happy to see Alex back in England colours. I would imagine the majority [of the team] would have the kind of views I have given. People deserve a second chance, as long as they’ve gone away and worked on a few things. Don’t know why anyone would see that any differently, We have a culture and an environment in the England squad that we all try and pull in the right direction and do the best for the team. If Alex is willing to do that then I imagine everyone would be happy to see him back playing for England.”