jofra archer has missed out on selection in England’s World Cup squad due to a lack of time to prove his fitness and will fly to India only as a traveling reserve, barring a “somewhat miraculous” recovery from injury.

Archer was England’s leading wicket-taker when they won the tournament four years ago and ended their triumph with a Super Over in the final, but has not played since this year’s IPL due to a stress fracture of the elbow.

England selector and Archer’s former Sussex teammate Luke Wright said that England were “desperate” for him to be fit, but they were reluctant to “force him to play” ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation.

“Joff should have a duty of care,” Wright said. “We know how desperate we all are to get him – there’s no doubt about that – but we also have to make it right for him. He’s been very unfortunate with these injuries… In relation to the World Cup, unfortunately Well, we’re just running out of time.

“He’s not going to come that soon, especially for the first half of the World Cup. He has a duty to look after. We have to make sure that, long term, we get it right because we see him as a good player.” Great asset for a long time. As much as it is tempting to try and get him in for the start of this World Cup, unfortunately, we are about to run out of time.”

Working on the BBC’s coverage of The Hundred, Archer said he would retain some hope of appearing in India: “I’m feeling fine, I’m a bit hopeful too. Right now, I’m feeling fine and doing my rehabilitation. I am.” Everything is going according to plan. All you need is a little bit of luck and a little bit of hope.”

England have picked six frontline seamers in their provisional 15-man squad – which could be changed by September 28 – and expect a grueling workload for their seamers, with nine group games scheduled over 37 days and matches at venues across India. Interflights required.

Most of their first-choice fast bowlers have suffered injuries at one stage or another over the past two years and England will hope Archer is available to play in the second half of the tournament should one of them miss out again.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think we can have him in the starting lineup,” Wright said. “Really the best situation for Joff at the moment would probably be [that he is] Available for the back-end of the tournament. It’s a best-case scenario, which frankly, in a squad of 15, is going to let us down a bit.

“The last thing we want to do is really take too long [limit] on him and try to push him and force him to play before he [feel ready], We have to fix that first.

“But is there any chance or place where potentially he could play at the end of the tournament, if all goes well and the injury happens? Yes, there is a possible chance. But obviously, a lot of things are still left.” Before I have to get on with this rehabilitation properly.

“When you look at that team, you can’t have a bowler who is not available for the second half and certainly not for the first half. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do that. If something miraculous happened to him So we have time to turn things around but I don’t see that happening. It’s coming too quickly and we can’t make this decision in a hurry this time around on Joff.”


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