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Hales replaces injured Samuels

l SYDNEY

Injured West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels was yesterday replaced by England batsman Alex Hales in the Melbourne Renegades squad for the remaining matches of the Australian Big Bash league.

Samuels, who has a suspected fracture of the eye socket, was replaced by Hales, 24, who joins the Renegades for this week's last group stage, as well as the finals series.

Renegades, set to finish at the top of the Big Bash standings, will play the winner of Saturday's final clash between Hobart Hurricanes and Brisbane Heat in next Tuesday's semi-final.

"It's extremely disappointing to lose Marlon in these circumstances," said Renegades coach Simon Helmot, "..and we wish him all the best for a speedy recovery".

 Samuels's injury was sustained when he top-edged a Lasith Malinga delivery into his eye and was forced to retire.

The incident followed a tense confrontation between Samuels and Shane Warne during the Renegades' clash with city rivals Melbourne Stars on Sunday.

"The team is now focusing on our Sydney road trip and Alex will be a big part of that," said Helmot.

"…We continue preparations for the business end of the season," he added.

Hales has an average of 34.83 with a strike rate of 127.43 for England in T20 internationals, posting scores of 56 and 42 in his most recent games against India last month.

The altercation between Samuels and Warne has led to both players being charged by Cricket Australia with multiple breaches of its code of behaviour.

Warne was found guilty of three of four offences and was fined US$4,700 and a one game ban.

Samuels' has been charged with two offences, but is yet to appear before Cricket Australia for his hearing due to his injury.

–CMC

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