England offer Hales hope of eventual return

England coach Trevor Bayliss has left the door open for Alex Hales to return to the England fold after this summer’s World Cup.

England's Jason Roy (right) chats with head coach Trevor Bayliss (left) during the nets session at The Kia Oval.

Hales was named in England’s preliminary 15-man World Cup squad only to be dropped last week after a newspaper report said the 30-year-old was serving a 21-day ban for a second positive drugs test.

Bayliss confirmed Hales would not return for the World Cup, but he believes the Nottinghamshire batsman has a future with England going forward.

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He sad: “Alex still has an international future. I have spoken to him and given him that message. It’s certainly not the end of him.

“He’s been a very important part of this team over the last five or six years or more. There’s no reason why he can’t come back.”

Bayliss backed the decision, saying it sends out an important message to England cricket.

He added: “It was a decision not just solely made by the players, I was involved in that decision as well. Morgs (limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan) and I had a long chat about it. He certainly asked the players their thoughts.

“I think we’ve come to the right decision. I think the message it sends, not just to the rest of this group but to the rest of English cricket down through county level, that culture, the way we go about things (is important). Being respected off the field as well as on it.

“This team has gone about things in the right way and in the last 18 months or so they’ve made strides. They’re working very hard to make things right.”

Bayliss issued an injury update ahead of today’s first one-day international match against Pakistan, revealing he would have a full squad available to him if necessary.

But he has vowed to “mix and match” in an attempt to give different players game time, with Moeen Ali and Jason Roy set to be rested as a precaution.

Joe Denly must prove he is worth a place in England’s World Cup plans after Bayliss revealed Liam Dawson has a chance of taking his place in the final squad.

Denly pipped the slow left-armer to win a spot in England’s preliminary squad last month and has played in the first two games of the summer, wins over Ireland in Malahide and in a one-off Twenty20 against Pakistan on Sunday.

The Kent all-rounder looked to have timed his run to perfection after almost a decade in the international wilderness, but while selectors value his versatile batting uncertainty over his late-blooming leg spin could yet force a change of heart.

Ali’s rib injury means Denly will play the role of spin bowling all-rounder at The Oval today, the first of five one-day internationals against Pakistan before the final 15 is revealed, and needs to impress with the ball.

The first two deliveries of his only over in Cardiff were long hops that Babar Azam hammered for six and Bayliss cranked up the pressure on the eve of the series by admitting Dawson was now under active consideration by selectors. “He’s not the only bowler to run in and bowl a couple half-volleys to start a spell, (but) it’s an interesting position that one,” he said.

“Someone like Dawson will certainly be in discussions. He’s done well this year and he’s done well for us in the past when he’s been given an opportunity at this level. It’s getting to the business end.

“It’s this 17 and Dawson, I don’t think it would be out of place in saying it’s probably down to that 18. I think the final 15 would come from that.”

Dawson played the last of his three ODIs against Sri Lanka at Dambulla in October, but an impressive winter on the franchise circuit and a strong start to the season with Hampshire has brought him back to the fore.

The slow left-armer even looks set to join up with the team before the Pakistan series concludes.

There will also be another outing for Dawson’s county captain James Vince at the top of the order, with first-choice opener Roy not being risked after recent back spasms.

Seamer Mark Wood is also being carefully managed due to his ongoing ankle complaint.

“If it was an important game and we really needed them to play they would be playing, but there’s no real need,” was Bayliss’s verdict.

“We’re playing a little bit safe, but it also gives us the chance to play some of the bench strength,” he added.