England lifted the 2019 World Cup by beating New Zealand in the final via boundary count. The victory was marred by controversy even before the start of the mega event after Alex Hales was banned by England cricket board for using recreational drugs. He was also dropped from the World Cup squad. England all-rounder Ben Stokes recently revealed that he didn’t want his teammate to be a part of England’s 15-member World Cup squad after being banned for drugs.
Hales was withdrawn from all England squads after being banned for drugs. The drugs were detected after the wicket-keeper batsman underwent a routine hair-follicle test. Speaking about the incident, Stokes said that the decision to drop Hales from the England squad was necessary to avoid any off-field issue hanging over the team while going into the tournament.
Stokes, in his recently launched book On Fire, said that when the ECB declared that it had banned Hales from cricket for a drug issue, England skipper Eoin Morgan had asked the senior players of the team for their opinion on whether Hales should be in the team. Stokes said that he was asked directly as to what he would do. He replied that he can’t have Hales in the squad.
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He also added that in the end, it came down to protecting the culture and environment of the team which was built. A World Cup only comes around every four years and retaining Alex as a squad player would have proved too much of a distraction.
During the 2019 World Cup, Ben Stokes amassed 435 runs and also picked seven wickets. During the tense final against New Zealand, Stokes scored a match-winning 84 to hand England their first World Cup title.