Archer will bring ‘fear factor’ on England return

Jofra Archer will bring a “fear factor” to England’s bowling attack when he returns this month, says team-mate Sam Curran.

Archer, 29, is in line to play his first match for England in more than a year during the four-match T20 series against Pakistan, which starts on Wednesday at Headingley.

The fast bowler, whose career has been hampered by a series of injuries in recent years, is also in England’s provisional squad for the T20 World Cup in June.

“It’s incredibly exciting,” all-rounder Curran said.

“I’m sure England fans and players are extremely buzzed to have him back. He’s an addition no side can turn down.”

Archer, who took a wicket for Sussex’s second XI last week and has been building up his fitness by playing club cricket in Barbados, took part in England training in Leeds on Monday.

It is hoped he will play in up to three of the four T20s against Pakistan, although there is a poor weather forecast for Wednesday’s series opener and England would be wary of taking risks with him on a greasy outfield.

The series is England’s only preparation for the World Cup, which they go into as defending champions.

“He’s obviously got that extra pace and fear factor we can bring to opposition as well,” Curran said.

“Hopefully his injuries are behind him now.”

Archer made a thrilling start to international cricket in 2019, bowling the super over in England’s World Cup final win and impressing in the Ashes against Australia later that summer.

But he has since suffered stress fractures in his back while a recurring elbow issue, which resurfaced last May, ruled him out of the 2023 summer.

He last featured for England in March 2023 but has not played an international at home since September 2020, against Australia.

Coach Matthew Mott was not at training because of a family issue but hopes to join the squad in the next 24 hours.

Captain Jos Buttler, whose wife is expecting their third child, was present but could miss a match later in the series, or potentially at the World Cup.

All-rounder Liam Livingstone had his knee heavily strapped on Monday as he manages a problem which forced him to leave the Indian Premier League early.


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