Eoin Morgan reckons Alex Hales must continue to wait a little longer before he is considered for an international recall.
Just over a year has passed since Hales was booted out of England's World Cup camp in Cardiff following revelations he had served a 21 day suspension for a second recreational drugs offence, something his team-mates knew nothing about.
That breakdown in trust was the last straw and not only cost batsman Hales his place in the victorious squad, but his place in any England squad since then.
Speaking last week, World Cup winner Chris Woakes thought it might be time to welcome Hales back into the fold.
And skipper Morgan has been in contact with Hales to let him know that his exile is not permanent, but ultimately this summer is still too soon for him.
“Given it could have derailed a World Cup campaign, I think it might take some more time,” said Morgan, while celebrating 15 years of cricket in schools charity Chance to Shine who are facing a £1million shortfall in funding this year.
“I've spoken to Alex and certainly see an avenue for him to coming back to playing cricket but like in life and in any sport, when there's a breakdown of trust, the only healer is time.
“It's only been 12 or 13 months since the incident which could have cost us four years of hard work.
“Playing cricket for England is about on and off the field, values we adhere to or do our best to adhere to and Alex showed complete disregard for them.
“I think teams in the past wouldn't have been strong enough to make decisions like we did pre-World Cup, and then continue to stand by them post-World Cup.”
It is a credit to Morgan's leadership that up until now he has refused to be swayed on Hales' reintegration despite the scheduled arrival of a T20 World Cup in Australia in October.
Since his axe Hales has plied his trade in T20 leagues around the world and was in sensational form at the Big Bash and then Pakistan Super League before Covid-19 struck scoring 815 runs at a rate of 9 runs per over.
With both Morgan and Hales putting up their best cases, the coronavirus situation may yet end up working out for both of them, with a likely postponement to 2021 providing enough time for the opener to be reconsidered.
“It's obviously not about performance with him,” added Morgan. “Alex is a fantastic player, it's never been discussed whether he's good enough to be in the squad or not.
“Moving forward, time is a great healer so we will continue to assess things moving forward as we've spoken to Alex about, and then hopefully an opportunity will present itself down the line.
“I'd be surprised if it (T20 World Cup) goes ahead. Australia have had a limited number of cases and deaths. Having 16 teams across eight venues has the potential to expose something.”
Chance to Shine celebrate their 15 birthday this week with every donation matched £ for £ by Adrian Beecroft up to £100,000. Visit chancetoshine.org
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