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Jofra Archer – I don’t know if I’ve got another stop-start year in me

Jofra Archer hopes to play for England in front of his family in the Caribbean at June’s T20 World Cup but has warned that he would find it hard to cope with “another stop-start year” after persistent injuries over the last three years.

Archer has not played a professional match since May 2023 due to an elbow injury but the ECB are planning for him to return to international cricket during England’s four-match T20I series against Pakistan in late May, immediately before the T20 World Cup. He is expected to be named in their provisional World Cup squad, which must be submitted to the ICC by May 1.

England will start their World Cup campaign at Kensington Oval in Barbados with fixtures against Scotland and Australia on June 4 and 8. Archer was born and raised on the island and has trained with England squads there on recent tours, but has never played an international match there.

“I really do want to be in the team,” he said, speaking to The Athlete’s Voice by 4CAST. “I really do want to be playing back at home… I’d love my family and my dogs at that first game back. I haven’t played for England at all this year, so I think it would be really fitting if that could happen.”

Archer travelled to India last month on Sussex’s pre-season tour, which he described as a “good gauge” and a “valuable check” on his progress. Rob Key, England’s managing director, said earlier this month that Archer had returned to the Caribbean to continue his rehabilitation, while also ruling him out of contention to play Test cricket this summer.

“The last two years have been really stop-start, so I just think that everyone’s going to just take it a bit easy,” Archer said. “If I’m ready then fine, happy days. But if I’m not, they’re still supporting me until whenever I am ready.

“Worst-case scenario, even if I don’t make it to the World Cup for whatever reason, there’s still the T20 Blast, there’s still the Hundred. There’s still cricket that I haven’t got a chance to play in the last couple of years. As much as I want to play in the World Cup, if it doesn’t happen for whatever reason, at least I still know I could be somewhat active as well.

“Last year, I played from January to May, because I did go to the IPL as well. And then the year before that, I played maybe one or two games for Sussex, so I’ve had a whole year of nothing… hopefully, from June 1 and when June 1 comes next year, hopefully I’ve had no breaks… no injuries, and just constantly playing. It’s been a while and honestly, I don’t know if I’ve got another stop-start year in me. That’s the truth. I don’t know if I’ve got another one.”

Archer also spoke about the effect that negative comments on social media have had on him while he has been sidelined. “Everybody – honestly, everybody – has an opinion. It doesn’t matter what you do or how good you are, everyone will have a go at you at some point,” he said.

“Even now, any time England or my franchises post, all of the comments are – or if I post training clips, people are like: ‘He’ll probably be injured tomorrow.’ It’s just stupid comments like that… I really need people to take accountability for what they say, because if you’re saying that stuff, you’ve got to answer for it.”

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