England batter Alex Hales has been reprimanded by the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) over an old picture of him wearing a “blackface”, which was published in a national newspaper last year. Hales had issued a public apology when the photo was published by The Sun last year. As per Sky Sports, the image was apparently taken in 2009 when the batter was 20 years of age at a New Year’s Eve Party.
As per ESPNCricinfo, during the investigation, Hales questioned the need for “repeated publication of these old matters”, but adjudicator Chris Tickle ruled “the interests of transparency should prevail”.
As per England and Wales Cricket Board, CDC is a body operating at “arm’s length” from the board and listens to disciplinary cases in the professional domestic game in England and Wales.
Back in August this year, Hales was charged with breaching directive 3.3 of ECB, which states, “No such person may conduct himself in a manner or do any act or omission which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the game of cricket or any cricketer or group of cricketers into disrepute.”
Hales admitted the charge and told CDC that steps were taken by him “to ensure that the photo could not be linked to any of his social media accounts” in 2015 and 2017.
As per CDC’s report, ECB argued that Hales’ breaches of its directives in 2018, relating primarily to the 2017 street fight in Bristol, should be considered “an aggravating factor”, but Tickle disagreed.
“Neither of those breaches related to discriminatory conduct,” he wrote. “They were wholly dissimilar. Further, they occurred some eight years after the breach in this case. It would be different if it were a case of repeat offending, of Hales not having learnt his lesson. At the material time – 2009 – he had a clean record. This was his first offence and it is appropriate to treat it as such.”
The batter was previously investigated, warned by his county Nottinghamshire and he questioned the need of giving “more airtime” to the subject, as per CDC report.
“I have taken this into account but consider that the interests of transparency should prevail,” Tickle wrote. “I direct that this decision should be published so as to emphasise that such posting on social media, however historical, will not be tolerated,” he added.
According to Sky Sports, before his recall for the series against Pakistan and the T20 World Cup this year, Hales had not played for England since 2019 due to off-field issues. He had tested positive for recreational drugs leading up to the 2019 Cricket World Cup, resulting in his omission from the squad and a “complete breakdown in trust” with then white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan. Hales had to see England lift their first-ever 50-over World Cup from the sidelines.
However, the burly batter was recalled into the national T20I side for the Pakistan series and T20 WC in September, replacing an injured Jonny Bairstow. Also, with Jason Roy overlooked due to his prolonged lean patch with the bat, Hales’ bid for redemption brightened.
The batter repaid the faith the selectors reposed in him, scoring 53 on his return. Since then, Hales has played 15 T20Is for England in 2022, having scored 430 runs at an average of 30.71 and a strike rate of 145.27. He produced four half-centuries, with his best score being an unbeaten 86 against India in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup.
In the tourney, the Englishman produced some fine knocks. In six matches, he aggregated 212 runs at an average of 42.20. He scored two fifties, with a best of 86* against India. He finished as the eighth-highest run-getter in the tournament. Hales was England’s second-highest run-getter in the tournament behind Jos Buttler (225 runs).