Alex Hales England Cricket Team
Alex Hales (AFP Photo)

England‘s World Cup preparations have suffered a blow as top-order batsman Alex Hales has taken an indefinite break from cricket citing personal reasons. He was named in England’s preliminary squad for the World Cup earlier this week.

Hales was to appear for Nottinghamshire’s Royal London Cup opening match against Lancashire but made himself unavailable for the fixture.

“Alex Hales has made himself unavailable for selection for personal reasons and no timetable has been set for his return to action,” a statement on Nottinghamshire’s official website read.

As per reports, Hales will be available for England’s World Cup camp and six one-day internationals (one-off against Ireland and five against Pakistan) that begins next week in Cardiff.

Since Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow have formed a formidable opening partnership in limited-overs cricket for England, Hales’ role has been changed to that of a reserve opener.

Earlier this year, Hales was handed a six-match ban in limited-overs cricket and fined £17,500 by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for his role in a Bristol fight alongside teammate Ben Stokes. In an interview to Guardian, the 30-year-old had reflected on how his international career took a hit following that club fight.

“I won’t lie, there have been days when it has gnawed away at me,” Hales told Guardian. “The fines and everything were a dent but the biggest thing was losing my spot. The day I found out I wasn’t playing [the final two ODIs against West Indies] I knew Jason would come in and score big runs. He’s too good a player. And Jonny was in the best form of his life. I saw it coming and it unfolded in slow motion.”

Hales has played 70 ODIs for England in which he has scored 2419 runs with six centuries and 14 half-centuries. In 60 T20Is, he has 1644 runs with one century and eight fifties. He has also played 11 Tests hitting 573 runs with five fifties.