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England To Call Alex Hales As Chris Woakes Welcome His Return

Chris Woakes is thrilled for the reported return to England squad of twice banned Alexander Daniel Hales a.k.a Alex Hales.

With a revamped schedule likely to be congested, necessitating separation between the Test and limited-overs squads, England could call on 31-year-old right handed batman Hales, who averages almost 38 in 70 one-day internationals.

Batsman Hales has not played for England since being removed from the World Cup squad in May 2019 after been ban for 21 days for tested positive for recreation ban drug.

“We all try to pull in the right direction,” said Woakes.

“If Alex is willing to do that then I imagine everyone would be happy to see him back playing for England.”

Cricket is set to return from the coronavirus shutdown in July, and England will next week name an enlarged group of about 30 players who will resume training with a view to playing Test and limited-overs matches.

When Hales was dropped, captain Eoin Morgan said it was because of a “complete breakdown in trust” and that the rest of the squad supported the decision.

Woakes, 31, said: “He’s gone through a tough time, being left out of the World Cup. Going on to see that team lift the trophy must have been difficult for him.

“If people have gone away for a time and worked on their weaknesses, they should be allowed a second chance.”

Hales’ highest score of 171 was once the England record, and he was the second highest run-scorer in last winter’s edition of the Big Bash League, Australia’s domestic Twenty20 competition.

“Alex is as a world-class player,” said Woakes. “I don’t 100% know what will happen, but I’d be happy to see Alex back in England colours.”

Woakes, 31, was among the England bowlers who returned to training on Thursday, at his home ground of Edgbaston.

As part of the protocols put in place by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB),Woakes was required to take his own temperature, enter information into an app, arrive at the ground in his training kit and wash his hands before the session began.

He has also been given his own set of six cricket balls that no-one else will touch.

“It’s my job, so it was nice to have some form of normality by going back to training,” he said.

“It’s been two months since I last bowled, and I was a little sore this morning. The first waddle to the toilet was a bit interesting, but the body is not too bad.”