England pacer Jofra Archer has been ruled out of the remaining calendar year after a reoccurrence of an elbow injury suffered earlier this year. The injury had first plagued Archer during England’s tour of South Africa towards the end of 2020.
Archer had previously pulled out of England’s tour to India this year and withdrew from the IPL due to the injury. The Rajasthan Royal pacer underwent successful surgery in May this year, which removed a bone fragment from his elbow. The England and Wales Cricket Board, though, confirmed that the injury was not related to the surgery, with the board putting out a statement saying, “The operation is not related to the stress fracture that sidelined the player previously. He will now spend time on an extended break from cricket before returning for a medical review in early autumn.”
Archer will miss out on some of the most important events in English cricket. Archer is ruled out of the on-going England vs. India series and the remainder of the IPL, The Hundred, the World T20, and the Ashes, which is scheduled to occur later this year. Given that England is one of the favorites in the T20 World Cup this year and Archer’s role in their World Cup-winning campaign in 2019, Archer’s loss will be a big blow to the English side. Apart from the World Cup, the Ashes, which will be held in Australia this year, would have seen Archer as the X factor for the visitors, given Archer’s sheer pace and accuracy. Archer will now have to wait a further couple of years to play his first Ashes series Down Under.
The recurrence of the stress fracture lays waste to Archer’s comeback plans, which had already started with the Englishman taking part in the County Championships for Sussex. Post his surgery in May, Archer had played three games for Sussex, one of them being a T20. But while playing a 50 over friendly against Oxfordshire, Archer experienced extreme discomfort and reported the matter post which the current decision was taken regarding Archer’s well-being.
The 26-year-old was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2020. He has already cemented his name in English cricket history within a short period with remarkable performances. From taking the world by storm at the 2019 ODI World Cup, where he led the English attack, and bowled that crucial Super Over in the final, to being one of the main reasons why England didn’t lose the 2019 Ashes series at home, Archer has been a generational find for English cricket. He is the one that the entire country would want to see back on the field as soon as possible. But just like many of the great fast bowlers, Archer’s promising career also seems to have hit an injury bump, one which he would want to get over quickly.
The news of Archer’s unavailability comes as another big blow for the ECB, as only last week their star all-rounder Ben Stokes had also announced an indefinite break from cricket to focus on his mental health and give time to his left index finger to recover. With two of their biggest stars missing from action, England will hope they don’t miss them too dearly on the pitch.