• Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Archer return in Barbados club match surprises England

The 28-year-old’s paceman’s last professional appearance was in May

Jofra Archer of England takes part in a Net session ahead of the third CG United One Day International at Kensington Oval on December 08, 2023 in Bridgetown, Barbados. (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

ENGLAND were taken aback by fast bowler Jofra Archer’s return from injury in a Barbados club match last week, with team chief Rob Key saying unaware of his involvement.

Long-term injury absentee Archer joined up with England, currently on a white-ball tour of the West Indies, in Barbados — the island of his birth — on Friday (8) as part of the Sussex quick’s ongoing rehabilitation from a longstanding right elbow problem.

It is understood he flew back to the UK on Sunday (10) but not before turning out a few hours earlier for his old school side Foundation on day one of their three-day fixture against Lords in division one of the Barbados Cricket Association league, where he was the pick of the attack with 4-18.

But it appears he did so without England’s knowledge, with England director of men’s cricket Rob Key, speaking after announcing a Test squad for the tour of India on Monday (11), saying: “I’m not aware of that — I’ll find out.”

The Cricketer website reported one of Archer’s wickets was via left-arm spin.

The 28-year-old’s paceman’s last professional appearance was in May, and Archer was ruled out of the Ashes by a recurrence of a stress fracture in a right elbow that has caused him repeated problems since his breakout year of 2019.

Archer, not included in the Test squad, spent just three days in Mumbai after being named as England’s only “travelling reserve” for the recent 50-over World Cup, but was awarded a two-year central contract in October.

England, wary of rushing Archer back, denied him permission to enter the Indian Premier League auction with a view to possibly having him fit for the 2024 T20 World Cup in June.

“Jofra was bowling out here (in Barbados),” Key added. “As you often see with Jofra, he rocks up, ends up bowling 95 miles an hour and he looks like he’s an absolute genius.

“But we’re just going to take it slow with him. We don’t want to put any sort of deadlines on him. That’s what we’ve done in the past, we’re trying to learn from what we’ve done in the past with Jofra.

“Actually now we’re taking control of him coming back. We’re not going to say, ‘you need to get back for this part here’.”

(AFP)

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