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 and the Sussex quick 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.
Now they must confront doubts over whether the Barbados-born Archer will be able to resume his 13-match Test career given the physical demands of the five-day game.
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.
“He will now spend time on an extended break from cricket before returning for a medical review in early autumn,” the board added.
England’s hopes of Ashes glory had been based on developing a battery of quicks capable of bowling in excess of 90 miles per hour on Australian pitches renowned for aiding fast bowlers
Archer, however, is the second of England’s genuinely fast bowlers to be sidelined this season, with Warwickshire’s Olly Stone out of action following a stress fracture of the lower back.
Of England’s out-and-out quicks, only Mark Wood — whose career has been blighted by a succession of ankle injuries — is currently fit.
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