Archer in England squad for Pakistan series, T20 World Cup – Sport

LONDON: Paceman Jofra Archer was Tuesday recalled to England’s squad for the defence of their T20 World Cup crown after a year out of action.

The 29-year-old, who has endured a string of injuries since his international breakthrough in 2019, has not played competitive cricket for a year but has recovered from a right elbow injury.

He takes his place in a 15-man provisional squad captained by Jos Buttler for the tournament that starts on June 1 in the West Indies and the United States.

The same group will play take on Pakistan in a four-match T20 series beginning at Headingley on May 22.

All the players who are currently featuring in the Indian Premier League will return in time for the series against Babar Azam’s men.

Archer has managed just 15 T20 appearances for England since making his international debut five years ago but is still considered a potential game-changer.

Another factor in England’s favour is that he grew up in Barbados so is knowledgeable about Caribbean conditions.

Veteran seamer Chris Jordan, also born in Barbados, returns to the squad alongside uncapped spinner Tom Hartley but there is no place for Chris Woakes, a World Cup winner in both the 20-over and 50-over formats.

Test captain Ben Stokes, who was part of the England squad who surrendered their 50-over title meekly in India last year, ruled himself out of the T20 World Cup in an effort to regain full fitness to play as an all-rounder.

England begin the defence of the title they won in Australia in 2022 against Scotland in Barbados on June 4.

Managing director of England men’s cricket Rob Key said Archer was “desperate” to play on his home island.

“Jofra’s a bowler that is just so special you do everything you can to try to get him back playing and we’ve sort of taken the longer road this time but as always with Jofra, it’s fingers crossed until he’s out there playing,” said Key.

“It’s like when you’re waiting for something really good to happen, you don’t quite believe it until he’s there but he’s tracking well at the moment.

“The next step is when he gets into that Pakistan series. It’s going to be full match intensity, how he keeps going through there but at the moment we’re doing everything we can and he’s in a good spot.”

All teams are allowed to make changes to their squads until May 25, after which any alteration will require approval from the International Cricket Council.

England provisional squad for T20 World Cup and Pakistan series: Jos Buttler (captain, wicket-keeper), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Tom Hartley, Will Jacks, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, Mark Wood.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2024

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