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Jofra Archer confirmed in squad to boost England’s T20 World Cup defence
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Jofra Archer confirmed in squad to boost England’s T20 World Cup defence

Jofra Archer has been cleared to play in England’s T20 World Cup defence after recovering from the elbow injury that has dogged him for more than four years. The 29-year-old has been named in the 15-man squad that will play four games against Pakistan next month and serves as the provisional selection for the tournament that starts on 1 June in the West Indies and the United States.

Despite being an established first-team player Archer has appeared in only 14 of England’s 65 T20s over the last four years, after first being diagnosed with a stress fracture of his right elbow in January 2020. He has played only three international T20s in three years, all during last year’s tour of Bangladesh, bowling just 11 overs, and has not played a competitive game of any kind since last May.

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Archer’s return will be a massive boost for England’s chances of defending the title they won in Australia in 2022. He is joined in the squad by Chris Jordan, who has drifted to the periphery of the team since his death bowling was remorselessly and decisively punished by New Zealand in the 2021 T20 World Cup semi-final: at that point he had played in every one of England’s previous 39 games in the format, but of the 39 they have played since he has appeared in only 17.

Tom Hartley, the Lancashire spinner who made his Test debut in India in January but has yet to play for England in the shortest format, has been preferred to Rehan Ahmed and along with Will Jacks is one of only two players in the squad who has not previously played in either the T20 or ODI World Cup. England can make unlimited changes to their squad until 25 May, the deadline for submitting a final selection.

Jacks is one of several England players currently involved in the Indian Premier League, all of whom will have to leave the tournament before the play-offs. They start on 21 May, the day before the first game against Pakistan at Headingley. That series ends at the Oval on 30 May and the squad will fly to the Caribbean the following day, ahead of their opening fixture against Scotland in Barbados on 4 June.

England provisional squad for the Men’s T20 World Cup & IT20 series v Pakistan: Jos Buttler (Lancashire, capt), Moeen Ali (Warwickshire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Harry Brook (Yorkshire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire), Tom Hartley (Lancashire), Will Jacks (Surrey), Chris Jordan (Surrey), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Phil Salt (Lancashire), Reece Topley (Surrey), Mark Wood (Durham).

Source: theguardian.com