Saturday, April 13, 2024

Jofra returns to cricket after more than a year

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Pace bowler Jofra Archer made his first appearance in 16 months as he lined up for England Lions against England in a tour match in Abu Dhabi.

Archer has not played for England since March 2021 because of elbow surgery and then a stress fracture of the back.

He took 0-38 from nine overs on the opening day of the three-day game.

Ollie Pope made 146 from 120 balls and Zak Crawley 96 off 89 as England, who start a three-Test series in Pakistan on 1 December, amassed 501-7.

Pope, standing in as captain in Ben Stokes’ absence, helped England score at more than six an over at the Tolerance Oval.

Will Jacks, who could make his Test debut against Pakistan, smashed 84 from 48 balls from number eight.

Liam Livingstone – part of England’s T20 World Cup-winning side this month – hit 36 from 23 balls in his first red-ball match since September 2020, while Ben Foakes ended the day 48 not out.

Former captain Joe Root was dismissed for nine by Sussex off-spinner Jack Carson.

Eighteen-year-old Leicestershire leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed – called up to the Test squad later on Wednesday – conceded 73 from eight overs.

Archer, whose workload is being monitored by the England management, will bowl a limited number of overs in the game.

It was announced later on Wednesday that he would be a wildcard pick for MI Cape Town in the new South Africa T20 League that starts on 10 January.

The tournament runs until February 11, but England start a three-match one-day international series against South Africa on January 27, which may be Archer’s return to competitive international cricket. (BBC)

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