Morgan not ruling out World Cup call-up for Hales

By Sports Desk June 17, 2019

Eoin Morgan has not closed the door on a potential Cricket World Cup call-up for opener Alex Hales as England battle injuries to their key batsmen.

Hales was included in his country's preliminary squad but failed to make the final cut having been axed in April due to a suspension imposed for what his spokesperson described as an "off-field incident".

England look primed to make the semi-finals without Hales, having won three of their four group games so far, but injuries to Jason Roy and Morgan have given the host nation fitness concerns.

Roy will miss Tuesday's clash with Afghanistan and Friday's encounter against Sri Lanka and, though Morgan (back) could feature in the first of those games, the skipper admitted there have been conversations about potential call-ups.

And the possibility of Hales being included has not been ruled out.

"If [national selector] Ed Smith came to myself and [head coach] Trevor [Bayliss] and said he felt that Alex was the best option, we would have to assess how that would sit in the changing room and the stigma it would bring with Alex coming back in," Morgan told the BBC's Test Match Special.

Ashley Giles, the managing director of England men's team, had said "the door isn't closed" for Hales, and the 30-year-old recently revealed he hoped to be involved in next year's Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.

Yet, speaking last month, Morgan claimed Hales had "clearly demonstrated a lack of respect" for the team's "values".

The England captain did reveal on Monday that the injury worries had led to discussions about potential call-ups should the problems prove serious.

"When we selected the squad, we did have conversations, sort of underlying replacements for particular players," said Morgan. 

"So they are always ongoing in the background and I'm not involved in a lot of them. I'm sort of quite focused on the group and task at hand. But there are always conversations going on in the background.

"I think the other day, certainly, it was a matter of getting the two scans back and seeing what process we could go through to get us both back playing as quickly as possible, and once we could get [an] indication when that might be, we would cross that bridge."

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