Alex Hales has withdrawn from the Indian Premier League due to bubble fatigue.

The English batter had been due to play for Kolkata Knight Riders in a tournament that starts on March 26.

Hales on Friday revealed he will not travel to India due to the strains of spending so much time in bio-secure environments due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

He tweeted: "I am sad to announce that I have made the extremely difficult decision to withdraw from the forthcoming IPL.

"Having spent the last four months away from home in restrictive bio bubbles and having tested positive for COVID myself in Australia, I don't feel as though I can commit myself to another extended period within a secure environment.

"It wouldn't be fair on the team or myself if I wasn't able to perform to the level expected of me as a result of ongoing bubble fatigue.

"I am truly gutted to have to turn down one of the best opportunities of my career due to the toll that the last two years of bubble life has taken on my mental well-being.

"I'll now take some time to rest and recharge ahead of the summer."

Alex Hales has apologised after a photograph emerged of him being "incredibly disrespectful" by painting his face black at a fancy dress party.

Former England batsman Hales says a picture that was published by The Sun shows him trying to pay tribute to rapper Tupac Shakur at a party in 2009.

Nottinghamshire batter Hales knows he has been "incredibly reckless and foolish".

The 32-year-old on Friday once again denied Azeem Rafiq's claim that he had named his dog Kevin, a name the spinner alleged his former team-mate Gary Ballance used as a "derogatory" term to refer to a player of colour.

Hales said in a video posted on Instagram: "With the allegations that have come to light over the last few days, I feel like it's important that I address these myself.

"I'll start with the picture that has appeared in The Sun of me in a fancy dress party in 2009. The theme was musicians and Tupac is, was, always will be my favourite musician so I went as him.

"I obviously realise it is incredibly disrespectful and I want to apologise for the offence that this has no doubt caused. It's incredibly reckless and foolish on my behalf so I want to apologise for that and I want to apologise to the club for the embarrassment it would have caused them

"I guess my 20s was full of mistakes like that, reckless mistakes off the field that cost me, let down family, let down team-mates, let down friends, close relationships I had in my 20s.

"I guess some of those decisions I'll regret for the rest of my life. The last few years, being away from the spotlight a little bit has given me the chance to better myself as a human, keep getting better at cricket but getting better off the field as well. It's something I feel like I've done and am continuing to strive to do.

"With regards to the allegations about the dog, it's an ongoing investigation at the club, so I can't go into that, but I want to reiterate what I said in my statement the other day.

"Finally, I deplore all forms of racism and discrimination. I've been incredibly lucky to play around the world in different backgrounds with players of different races, different cultures and I think it's great our game is so diverse."

Nottinghamshire said the club has "extended the scope of their investigation" into the historic conduct of Hales following the publication the photo.

England have named Liam Livingstone in a 16-man squad for the Twenty20 series against India in March, but Test captain Joe Root and Alex Hales were not included.

Livingstone has not played international cricket since June 2017, when he scored 16 runs in a pair of T20 appearances against South Africa on English soil.

However, the 27-year-old was part of the group for the one-day series at home to Ireland last year, as well as the tour to South Africa that was cut short in December due to coronavirus concerns.

His selection comes after an impressive Big Bash tournament in Australia, though Hales – who finished as the competition's leading scorer, managing 543 at a strike-rate of 161.60 for Sydney Thunder – continues to be overlooked by the national selectors.

Root is also not included for the five-match series that offers Eoin Morgan's side further opportunities to prepare ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup, which takes place in India during October and November.

Jos Buttler – who has returned home for a scheduled break after helping England win the first Test against India in Chennai – will travel back for the white-ball games.

As well as the players in the squad, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced Jake Ball and Matt Parkinson as reserves. The party will depart on February 26, with all games to be played at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.


England T20 squad for the tour to India: 

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, Mark Wood.

Reserves: Jake Ball, Matt Parkinson.

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