Fast bowler Jofra Archer unlikely to play in the Indian Premier League this year despite his lucrative Mumbai deal as England map out his return to action after two elbow ops
- Mumbai paid £780,000 for the recuperating fast bowler at the IPL auction
- Selection was based on him being available in the 2023 and 2024 seasons
- Jofra Archer’s return-to-play schedule will be devised by England this month
Jofra Archer remains highly unlikely to play in this year’s Indian Premier League despite Mumbai shelling out £780,000 on the recuperating England fast bowler at last weekend’s auction.
The selection of the 26-year-old was based on him being available in the 2023 and 2024 seasons, with the ECB insistent that he will not join up with the Indians franchise for the tournament that starts next month and concludes in the first week of June.
However, one of the issues for England’s interim hierarchy of Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood is the route for Archer to return to competitive cricket following two elbow operations, the most recent of which took place in December.
Jofra Archer was back bowling in the nets after a positive scan on his elbow this week
He underwent his latest routine scan last Friday and a positive assessment meant he was back bowling in the nets 48 hours later, continuing the good progress he made training alongside his England colleagues during the recent Twenty20 series versus West Indies in Barbados.
Sussex’s Archer will also hook up with the Test team in the Caribbean as he builds towards match fitness – and his return-to-play schedule will be devised during that trip.
The problem is that the ECB’s preferred method of testing the elbow is through short format cricket yet the first seven weeks of the English domestic season – spanning to May 25 when the Vitality Blast begins – exclusively features County Championship matches.
Wary that sending a centrally contracted player like Archer to the IPL for his comeback would not be a good look, former England director of cricket Ashley Giles blocked such an eventuality, but it is a subject that could be re-visited next month, by which time it will be a full calendar year since he played international cricket.
Archer’s return-to-play schedule will be devised by England this month
The 26-year-old remains highly unlikely to play in this year’s Indian Premier League
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