England’s Chief Selector And Jofra Archer Provided Major Update On His Return To International Cricket

Jofra Archer, the formidable England pacer, may have been excluded from the provisional ODI World Cup squad for 2023 due to recurring injuries, but there remains a glimmer of hope for his participation in the defending champions’ campaign later this year in India. Despite his past heroics, Archer’s limited appearances in ODIs since 2020 due to injuries led to his omission. However, England’s chief selector, Luke Wright, indicated that Archer might still be part of the squad as a traveling reserve and could join if injury concerns arise within the team.

In the 2019 World Cup, Archer emerged as England’s leading wicket-taker, claiming 20 wickets in 11 matches, and delivered a nerve-wracking Super Over in the final against New Zealand. However, injuries have plagued his career, limiting him to just seven ODIs since the beginning of 2020.

England’s chief selector, Luke Wright, clarified that Archer would not be part of the team’s initial campaign in the first half of the ODI World Cup, commencing on October 5 in India. The plan is to include Archer as a potential traveling reserve, with the possibility of joining the squad if there’s a need due to injuries.

Luke Wright said, “I don’t think we can, unfortunately, have him in the squad to start with. Best-case scenario for Jof really at the moment would probably be [that he is] available for the back-end of the tournament. That’s the best-case scenario, which obviously, in a squad of 15, is going to leave us quite light.The last thing we want to do is really to put a massive time on him and try to push him and force him into playing before he does feel ready. We’ve got to get him right, first and foremost.

Wright emphasized the importance of not rushing Archer’s rehabilitation and making sure he is fully fit before considering him for the tournament. He acknowledged that Archer’s best-case scenario might involve being available for the latter stages of the competition, acknowledging that a squad of 15 players could be left light if he isn’t fully fit.

“But is there an opportunity or a place where potentially he could play at the back end of a tournament if all things go well and there was an injury? Yes, there’s a potential chance. But obviously, a lot of things have still got to go right with this rehab before then.

“When you look at that squad, you cannot have a bowler that might not be available for the second half and definitely not for the first half. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do it. If something miraculous happens with him, we have time to change things but I just don’t see it happening. It is just coming too soon and we can’t rush this decision on Jof this time,” he added.

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“I am alright. I feel a bit hopeful as well, but right now I am okay with things going as per plan. You just need a little bit of luck and little bit of hope,” Jofra Archer said to BBC.

England named their provisional ODI World Cup squad with a focus on building a powerful fast-bowling line-up. Archer was omitted due to his injury concerns, while players like Ben Stokes and others were included following retirement reversals. Wright explained that Archer’s absence is due to the uncertainties around his fitness, and the team cannot afford to have a player who might not be available for a significant portion of the tournament.

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