Mor­gan says se­nior play­ers had ‘lack of trust’ in opener

Daily Mail - - Cricket - PAUL NEW­MAN Cricket Correspond­ent re­ports from Dublin

The anger was still blaz­ing within eoin Mor­gan as he took full re­spon­si­bil­ity for the ax­ing of Alex hales over the failed drugs test the eCB tried to hush up.

Rarely has the usu­ally calm and col­lected eng­land lim­ited-overs cap­tain been so vis­i­bly fu­ri­ous than he was in his na­tive Dublin yes­ter­day as he ex­plained why he and his se­nior play­ers took the lead in dis­card­ing the er­rant team-mate who had sim­ply run out of chances.

The eve of to­day’s first in­ter­na­tional of the sum­mer should have seen the fo­cus on the huge World Cup and Ashes chal­lenges ahead and the in­tro­duc­tion of a rare tal­ent, Jofra Archer, who makes his de­but against Ireland.

In­stead, it was all about the dis­graced fig­ure of hales who, clearly, has also run out of friends in the eng­land set-up af­ter it emerged last week the ‘per­sonal rea­sons’ given by Notts for his early-sea­son ab­sence were, in fact, a sec­ond failed test for recre­ational drugs.

Clearly, nei­ther Mor­gan (right), nor coach Trevor Bayliss nor any of the se­lec­tors and play­ers knew the rea­son why hales was miss­ing un­til a jour­nal­ist broke a story last Fri­day the eCB in­sist they were not able to tell be­cause they were bound by con­fi­den­tial­ity reg­u­la­tions. And when he did find out, Mor­gan quickly con­vened a meet­ing of se­nior play­ers Joe Root, Jos But­tler, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes at their pre- sea­son train­ing camp in Cardiff to ef­fec­tively de­cide hales’ fate.

‘It left me to think how this would af­fect the team and in par­tic­u­lar our cul­ture,’ said Mor­gan, who had ear­lier been as­sured by hales that the ‘per­sonal rea­sons’ be­hind his Notts ab­sence would not keep him out of eng­land ac­tion.

‘We’ve worked ex­tremely hard for the last 18 months since the Bris­tol in­ci­dent (which also in­volved hales) to put in place val­ues ev­ery­one can ad­here to. Un­for­tu­nately Alex’s ac­tions have shown a com­plete dis­re­gard for those val­ues and that cre­ated a lack of trust be­tween him and the team.

‘So, on Satur­day we got to­gether as a group of se­nior play­ers and we all agreed the best de­ci­sion was for Alex to be de- se­lected. I re­layed that to Ash­ley Giles, be­cause we don’t have the fi­nal say, and I’m de­lighted with the way we’ve han­dled all this.’

It was eng­land man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Giles who, along with eCB chief ex­ec­u­tive Tom har­ri­son, knew about the failed test but were sworn to se­crecy by reg­u­la­tions put in place in 2012.

‘The ad­vice we got from our le­gal guys was cat­e­gor­i­cally we had a duty of con­fi­den­tial­ity which we stuck to,’ said Giles. ‘Nei­ther my­self nor Tom lied, mis­led any­one nor cov­ered up what went on. If we are bound by con­fi­den­tial­ity we are un­able to share it. So we kept our part of the bargain and maintained our in­tegrity. Some­one else clearly didn’t. That’s the prob­lem.’ The un­com­fort­able truth, ac­knowl­edged by Giles, is that hales would have been open­ing the bat­ting to­day if the news had re­mained out of the pub­lic do­main. But he added: ‘It could be seen that a string of poor be­hav­iour over time has led us to this point. I didn’t think the state­ment put out (by hales’ man­age­ment) was par­tic­u­larly good but he’s clearly dis­ap­pointed and we get that.

‘What is fun­da­men­tal to this is a player’s wel­fare and the door isn’t closed to Alex what­ever peo­ple think.

‘What we want to see is some re­ally good be­hav­iour over time from him and some good cricket, of course. We’re there to sup­port him.’

As the World Cup door closes on hales, it opens to­day for Archer, who will be one of three eng­land 50-over debu­tants along with Dawid Malan and Ben Foakes in a side weak­ened by the rest­ing of key play­ers with in­jury wor­ries or be­cause of in­volve­ment in the IPL.

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