Cricket-Hales called up by England for T20 World Cup after three-year absence

Cricket - Sri Lanka vs England- England Practice Session

(Reuters) - England batsman Alex Hales is set to return to the national team after three years after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Wednesday named him in their squad for next month's Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.

Hales last played for England in March 2019 after the 33-year-old was withdrawn from the preliminary 50-overs World Cup squad that year after the Guardian newspaper reported he was serving a three-week ban for recreational drug use.

He joins the England T20 World Cup squad as a replacement for Jonny Bairstow, who was ruled out of the tournament due to an injury.

Former champions England begin their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan on Oct. 22 in Perth.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)