Drug shock rocks England World Cup squad
Alex Hales has been dropped from England's World Cup squad after failing a second drugs test.
The explosive opener, 30, was slapped with a 21-day ban for recreational drug use - with the ECB knowing that when they initially picked him for the tournament.
However, Hales has now been dropped from all England squads, including the World Cup, one-off Ireland ODI on Friday and the entire Pakistan series.
Speaking of the decision, ECB managing director Ashley Giles revealed it was not an easy decision.
Giles said: "We have thought long and hard about this decision.
"We have worked hard to create the right environment around the England team and need to consider what is in the best interests of the team, to ensure they are free from any distractions and able to focus on being successful on the pitch."
Giles - a strict disciplinarian - went on to say this is not necessarily the end of Hales' career as an England ace.
He continued: "I want to make it clear this is not the end of Alex's career as an England player.
"The ECB and the PCA will continue to aid Alex and work alongside his county club Nottinghamshire to give him the support he needs, to help him fulfil his potential as a professional cricketer."
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison and Giles were notified in writing of Hales' suspension more than two weeks ago.
But it is believed national selector Ed Smith, head coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Eoin Morgan were kept in the dark.
Hales was initially said to have made himself unavailable for Notts earlier this month for "personal reasons".
However, it was recently revealed he was actually serving a 21-day suspension for a second positive test for recreational drug use.
Every professional cricket in the country have their hair follicles tested at the beginning of each season in an effort to detect any banned substances.
After being axed, Hales will now miss the ODI with Ireland on Friday, as well as the pre-World Cup ODI series with Pakistan - as well as the summer tournament itself.
James Vince currently leads the race to replace Hales in the squad as a spare batsman for the World Cup.
While Hales is a destructive batsman on his day, he has been kept out of the team recently thanks to a hugely fruitful opening partnership between Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow.