Alex Hales will be rooting for England at the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 despite his late exile from the side and international cricket.
The Nottinghamshire batsman was slated to feature at the 50-over extravaganza until a report in The Guardian newspaper in April revealed he was serving a 21-day ban following a second positive test for recreational drug use.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) reacted to the report by announcing that Hales, then named in the provisional World Cup squad, had been withdrawn from international duty. He was also withdrawn from squad to face Pakistan.
The batsman is now shifting focus to Caribbean Premier League (CPL) where he has been picked by Barbados Tridents.
"I’m still a fan and wish all the boys all the best. What we have done over the last few years has been unbelievable," Hales said in an interview broadcast by Sky Sports.
"I will be (keeping an eye on the World Cup). The guys deserve to win it and I’ll be sat there watching and cheering."
As for his feelings about his World Cup exile, Hales simply said:
"I’m not here to talk about that."
Hales had been selected ahead of Jason Holder and Chris Gayle with the CPL starting on September 4.
"I just want to get back playing what I love most and that’s cricket," Hales, now a white-ball specialist, added.
"This is such a good opportunity to go and play at a ground where I have such fond memories of – the Kensington Oval — and play in a big tournament in some different conditions.
"I’ve got a few things to do with the ECB, there’s obviously a process to go through and then I start training I guess."