Jofra Archer given chance to prove Ashes fitness in Sussex games

Jofra Archer will be given the chance to prove his Ashes fitness by playing in a T20 Blast game for Sussex this Friday, and a three-day Second XI game next week.

Archer was named in England’s 14-man squad for the first Test at Edgbaston, but was omitted from the final XI as he continued his rehabilitation from a side strain he had suffered during the World Cup.

“Jofra is coming back from quite a serious injury,” said England’s captain, Joe Root, explaining his omission. “We looked at conditions and made a decision on what we thought would best take 20 wickets here.

“It also gives him time to get absolutely ready and fit to make sure he has his workloads up and ready to go for later in the series if he needs to make an impact. [His fitness] will be monitored throughout the week. It’s important that he’s ready to go to offer something different.”

Archer was one of the stars of England’s World Cup win, taking 20 wickets at 23.05 before bowling the decisive Super Over in the final against New Zealand, but admitted he had played through “excruciating” pain during the tournament.

After a brief trip back to his native Barbados, Archer took 2 for 21 in his four overs in Sussex’s tied T20 Blast game against Surrey before joining up with the Test squad.

Archer has been released to play in Sussex’s game against Kent on Friday night, and will then make his first appearance in the Second XI Championship since 2016 when he plays against Gloucestershire at Blackstone, a game which starts on Tuesday.

Sussex also have a T20 against Glamorgan that day, but Archer will instead have the chance to prove he is fit enough to bowl longer spells with the red ball.

It had been suggested that Archer might be loaned to Worcestershire to play in their tour game against Australia, as has happened with Andrew Strauss (Somerset), Nick Compton (Worcestershire), and James Taylor (Sussex) in previous years, but he will instead be kept away from the limelight in rural West Sussex.

Olly Stone and Sam Curran, the other unused members of England’s Edgbaston squad, have also been released to play in the Blast on Friday night.

Stone will join up with the Birmingham Bears squad for their game at Trent Bridge, while Curran will play for Surrey at Taunton.

Eoin Morgan returns to Lord’s for his first appearance since the final tonight in Middlesex’s game against Kent, while Adil Rashid has been included in Yorkshire’s Blast squad for the first time this season for Friday night’s fixture against Worcestershire.

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