Alex Hales offered sensational England return chance and could train with T20 squad this summer after drug shame

ALEX HALES has been offered an olive branch by England and could be invited to train with the T20 team this summer.

Hales, sidelined for almost two years since testing positive for recreational drugs on the eve of the 2019 World Cup, was omitted from England’s squad for five T20 matches in India next month.

But chief selector Ed Smith revealed: “We’ll look at inviting some people to training in the summer to try to expand our squad and the relationships.

“We’re always looking at ways to get players who aren’t currently in the squad to come along to training days.”

It suggests captain Eoin Morgan’s attitude to Hales might be softening.

Morgan accused Hales of a 'breakdown in trust' after his drugs ban and, until now, has shown no inclination to pick him.

It is conceivable Hales, 32, could force his way into England’s squad for the T20 World Cup in India in the autumn.

He was the leading scorer in the recent Big Bash with 543 runs at a strike-rate of 161 for Sydney Thunder.

Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone gets his chance in the 16-man squad after a prolific Big Bash for Perth Scorchers while Test captain Joe Root is again omitted.

Earlier this week, Root hailed James Anderson as the greatest of all time after his stunning double-wicket over helped England seal the Test win against India.

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Anderson took three wickets – including two in one amazing over – as England surged to a 227-run victory over India in the First Test.

When asked what he thought of Anderson, Root insisted: “Just GOAT, I reckon. Leave it there. He seems to get better all the time.

“His skill keeps improving, his work-rate is as good as anyone I’ve ever seen and his fitness levels are probably the best they’ve been.

"He’s a credit to English cricket, sets a great example to all the young players.

“When reverse swing came into it, the skill and accuracy of Jimmy was always going to be very potent.

"To deliver a spell like that changed the whole dynamic of the game. 

“We’ve come to expect it from him but we shouldn’t really because it’s unbelievable that time and time again he can keep doing it.”

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