The England and Wales Cricket Board [ECB] seem to have softened their stance on the drug recreational policy and has revoked the 21-day ban on out-of-favour swashbuckling opener Alex Hales. The suspension had led to Hales missing out from England’s eventual triumphant campaign.
Hales has not played for England since the start of last summer after it was revealed that he had missed out on the county fixtures of Nottinghamshire because of a three-week suspension rather than personal reasons, as was reported by the club back then.
The punishment also included a 5% deduction from his annual contract fee after the opening batsman failed a hair follicle test- a method used to detect the recreational drug use for the second time in his career.
However, under the updated code for the year 2020, a second offence will now result in a 10℅ fine with no suspension and will remain c0nfidentiol while only a third such violation trigger will result in a ban of 12 months and a full public disclosure.
“We can confirm that there has been an update to the Recreational Drugs Policy for 2020. This was part of a broad consultation involving stakeholders from the wider game including first‑class counties and the Professional Cricketers’ Association” an ECB spokesperson was quoted as saying by Guardian.
The spokesman added– “The policy takes into account the important consideration of player welfare whilst ensuring there are meaningful sanctions for each violation. There was further consensus from all parties that any bans will be made public.”
Alex Hales hasn’t played an international game since the start of the 2019 summer
The policy change has now at least ended the situation where a player misses a fixture due to the aforementioned violation and the paying public is misled on the same- as was the case last summer when Hales initially missed out from County fixtures.
Both Ed Smith- national selector- and captain Eoin Morgan were oblivious to the situation when Hales was named in the provisional squad for the World Cup before getting dropped at the eleventh hour because of what Morgan called ‘ a complete breakdown of trust’.
The changes in provision have provided a new lease of life to Hales, who has been in whirlwind form in franchise tournaments around the world and will now be looking to pushing his claim for the opening slot in England’s ICC T20 World Cup squad.
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