England's Jofra Archer out of Ashes, T20 World Cup

By: AFP      Published: 07:49 PM, 5 Aug, 2021
England's Jofra Archer out of Ashes, T20 World Cup

England fast bowler Jofra Archer will miss both the Twenty20 World Cup and the Ashes series in Australia the England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Thursday.

The ECB said in a statement that scans last week on the currently sidelined 26-year-old's right elbow had revealed a recurrence of a stress fracture.

"In response to these findings, he has been ruled out for the rest of the year and will miss the current LV= Insurance Test series against India, the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 and the Ashes series in Australia," the ECB statement added.

Archer was a central figure in 2019's World Cup triumph on home soil.

The Sussex paceman was considered vital to England's hopes of winning the T20 World Cup, in the UAE and Oman in October and November, and regaining the Ashes when a five-Test series begins in Australia in December.

News of his long absence was announced just days after England revealed that fellow World Cup-winner and star all-rounder Ben Stokes was taking an indefinite break from all cricket to prioritise his mental health.

Former England captain Alastair Cook said he feared the injury was a "game-changer" for Archer's career amid concerns the bowler, a veteran of 13 Tests, may never again reproduce the searing speed that troubled Australia's batsmen during the drawn 2019 Ashes series.

"We spoke all this time about England going to Australia with a battery of fast bowlers and Jofra Archer is another one joining Olly Stone who is out," Cook told BBC Radio's Test Match Special.

"Tim Bresnan was never the same bowler after his elbow injury -- they're so hard to get right. 

"He lost that yard of pace and Jofra's point of difference is that he can bowl genuinely quick. It's a game-changer," added Cook, who said he hoped advances in medicine would aid Archer's recovery. 

Archer was first diagnosed with a stress fracture in his bowling arm after breaking down on the South Africa tour of 2019-2020. 

He has since been treated with cortisone injections in the joint, most recently during another injury-hit tour of India earlier this year.

Archer underwent surgery in May to remove a bone fragment, having had an operation in March to remove a piece of glass from his finger following a bizarre injury involving a dropped fish bowl. 

England had hoped Archer might be fit to play some part in the ongoing five-Test series against India, which started at Trent Bridge on Wednesday but concerns about his fitness intensified after two appearances for Sussex saw him bowl just nine overs in total. 

The ECB statement said Archer had become aware of "increasing discomfort in his elbow" during matches for Sussex in the T20 Blast and a 50-over friendly against Oxfordshire.

Of England's out-and-out quicks, only Mark Wood -- whose career has been blighted by several ankle injuries -- is currently fit.

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