An injury to Jason Roy has brought Alex Hales back into the frame for England at the Cricket World Cup.

Hales was rubbed off the home team's list ahead of the World Cup for what England officials delicately described as an off-field issue.

England captain Eoin Morgan responded last month to Hales being "deselected" by saying the right-hander showed a disregard for team values and "this has created a lack of trust between Alex and the team".

Now, Hales may be needed.


Roy and Morgan were injured — but didn't need to bat — in England's eight-wicket win over West Indies last week, and are recovering at a different pace.

England team management confirmed Roy would miss at least two games this week against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka after scans showed a muscle tear in his left hamstring. Morgan said his back problem had settled down and he expected to be okay to play.

Questions at the pre-match news conferences centred on Roy, and which players are in contention to replace the destructive opening batsman if he doesn't recover in time for important games next week against defending champions Australia and 2011 champions India. James Vince was recalled to the XI to open with Jonny Bairstow against Afghanistan at Old Trafford overnight, with Joe Root reverting to No3 despite scoring an unbeaten century when he opened against West Indies.

That's this week's solution. But what happens if Roy has to be cut from the 15-man squad?

Hales was the established opener before he was suspended initially for his part in a street brawl also involving England teammate Ben Stokes in September 2017.

Roy and Bairstow forged a winning combination, relegating Hales to a back-up role.

After the second disciplinary suspension last month, he was cut entirely from the squad, leaving him "devastated".

Now, he may be needed again.


- AP