Jofra Archer elated with return to cricket after long injury layover

Circle of Cricket

Rohit Singh

Modified Nov 25, 2022 4:46 PM IST

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England Test captain Ben Stokes hopes to have “superstar” bowler Jofra Archer “fit and ready” for next summer’s Ashes. Following a succession of elbow and back injuries, the 27-year-old quick hasn’t played an international fixture since March 2021- a T20I against India in Ahmedabad – while his most recent Test outing came a month earlier against the same opponents.

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However, Archer is progressing well in his recovery, featuring for England Lions in a warm-up fixture against the Test squad in Abu Dhabi, and is keen to play “all formats all year round” when he returns to the international stage. He currently has 13 Test caps to his name, taking 42 wickets at 31.04. Addressing Archer’s Test future on Sky Sports, Stokes revealed his desire to have the Sussex bowler at his disposal against Australia next summer but will not “rush him back” into action.

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Ben Stokes wants Jofra Archer “fit and ready” for 2023 Ashes

“It’s been great to see him out here. It’s great to see him running back in with ball in his hand and bowling fast. He’s one of the superstars of the international game and it’s really good to have him back around the group,” Stokes said. “I bowled with him this morning and he said, ‘Any injuries [in Pakistan] skip, let me know’, but I think he’s just really excited to be back. “He’s had a long time off with injury and as exciting as it is, we’ve got to be careful not to rush him back because we don’t want to see Jofra on the sidelines for this amount of [time] again.

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“Hopefully, we can have Jofra fit and ready for the Ashes. That’s something we’re looking at and it would be great to have him available for selection.” Stokes’ caution echoes that of both Archer and ECB managing director of men’s cricket, Rob Key, with the latter admitting the bowler still has “quite a long way to go” in his recovery. That recovery is set to include a stint with MI Cape Town in the inaugural edition of the SA20 league in South Africa and turning out for Mumbai Indians in the IPL.