Jofra Archer’s highs and lows after fresh setback
Jofra Archer’s injury nightmare has taken another turn for the worse after he was ruled out for the entirety of England’s Ashes summer with a fresh stress fracture in his troublesome right elbow.
Archer has not played Test cricket for more than two years but had hoped to make his return against Australia after a long and arduous journey that has included several bouts of surgery on his elbow, as well as a stress fracture in the back which derailed his planned comeback last year.
News of Archer’s latest injury continues his rollercoaster England career, which has been full of remarkable achievements and matching disappointments.
Here we look at the highs and lows during Jofra Archer’s career.
High – The Barbados-born seamer was selected for England’s 2019 World Cup a matter of months after becoming eligible following a modification of the ECB’s rules. He played a crucial role in their run to the final, ultimately taking the responsibility of closing out victory over New Zealand by bowling the decisive super over.
High – Fresh from his World Cup triumph, he was parachuted into England’s Test team for the second match of the 2019 Ashes. His impact was instant and eye-catching. He lit up the drawn contest with an unforgettable spell of hostile high-speed bowling, eventually felling the in-form Steve Smith with a 93mph bouncer that forced the Australian out of the next match with concussion.
Low – In his first overseas Test, Archer was called on to send down a gruelling 42 overs against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui in what would subsequently go down as an error of judgement from captain Joe Root. Archer was also criticised for riding a segway on the field before play on day one and suffered racial abuse from a home fan.
Low – Missed the last three Tests of the 2019-20 tour of South Africa through injury. Invited to prove himself with a fiery spell in the nets ahead of the final Test in Johannesburg, but only succeeded in exacerbating his problems and was later diagnosed with a stress fracture of the right elbow.
Low – Dropped from the second Test of the summer against the West Indies after breaching bio-security protocols with an unauthorised trip home during the first series back following the coronavirus outbreak. Director of cricket Ashley Giles warned his actions could have compromised the tour and cost the ECB “tens of millions of pounds”.
High – Offered a timely reminder of his class by being named as MVP of the Indian Premier League in November 2020, starring for Rajasthan Royals and confirming his status as world-class T20 bowler.
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) November 10, 2020
Low – After more injury problems, his first-class comeback for Sussex in May 2021 ended in confusing fashion as he took the field on day three only to declare himself unfit to bowl when asked by captain Ben Brown. Two bouts of surgery on his elbow and a stress fracture of the back followed, forcing his longest lay-off yet including two T20 World Cups and an Ashes tour Down Under.
High – After working with England Lions at a winter training camp, Archer made his long-awaited international comeback in the white-ball tour of South Africa in 2023. His second match back brought career-best ODI figures of six for 40 against the Proteas, and confirmation that he still had the pace and menace to succeed at the highest level.
Low – Handed a lucrative IPL contract by Mumbai Indians but managed just five games in the 2023 edition before flying home injured. Ruled out for the entire international summer of 2023 with news of another stress fracture in his right elbow.
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