Rain prevents Alex Hales’ return as Notts Outlaws v Durham is washed out

Alex Hales
Alex Hales

Alex Hales was prevented from making his scheduled return to county cricket on Friday, with rain wiping out the Royal London One-Day Cup match between Notts Outlaws and Durham at Grantham.

The 30-year old had hoped to bring a turbulent week to a happier end when he was included in the Notts starting eleven for the first time this year but persistent drizzle prevented any play.

Hales had been unavailable for the first four matches in the competition, with ‘personal reasons’ being cited as the reason, before reported revelations surfaced that he was serving a 21-day suspension for recreational drug use.

The powerful right-handed batsman was subsequently withdrawn from England’s squads for the internationals against Ireland and Pakistan, as well as this summer’s ICC World Cup.

Grantham, staging it’s first List A match since 2000, when Lincolnshire hosted Netherlands in the NatWest Trophy, was looking forward to welcoming Hales and his teammates but the weather deteriorated soon after Steven Mullaney, the home captain, had won the toss and opted to field.

Umpires Neil Bainton and Peter Hartley officially called the contest off at 3.40pm, with one point being awarded to both sides. The outcome means both still have work to do to guarantee their place in the knock-out stages.

Notts remain top of the North Group with 11 points, whilst Durham have nine; both with one match remaining.

Notts head coach Peter Moores said: “Alex (Hales) has fitted back in fine. We trained together yesterday as a squad, so that was a good chance for Alex to get back amongst the squad and the players.

“He’s fine and has fitted back in and like most things, he knows he’s got good mates here from many years back. It’s good to have him back, he’s been through a tough couple of weeks but now it’s time for him to look forward and focus on playing some cricket.”