England selector Luke Wright has said that Jofra Archer will be the only travelling reserve for England at the ICC Cricket World Cup in India next month.
England announced their final World Cup squad yesterday (September 17), leaving out Jason Roy from the preliminary squad and replacing him with Harry Brook.
Roy was not able to participate in the recently concluded ODI series against New Zealand due to injury. In his absence, Dawid Malan cemented his spot at the top of the order, with the England selectors choosing to include Brook as the reserve batter and elevate Malan to the first-choice opener’s role.
Archer meanwhile, is not in the main 15-member squad for the World Cup as he is still recovering from an elbow stress fracture. Wright has confirmed that he will be the only travelling reserve for the England squad at the World Cup as being around the team set-up is important for his rehabilitation process.
On being asked about Archer’s fitness and the plans surrounding his selection as a travelling reserve for the World Cup, Wright said, “Yeah absolutely, Jof (Archer) will probably be the one, the only one that actually travels with the team. A big part is this rehab and being able to bowl and have the physios around him.”
Archer was recently spotted bowling in the England nets at the Kia Oval. He looked to be in good rhythm and bowled at nearly full tilt, giving encouraging signs ahead of the World Cup. However, Wright re-emphasized that they will have to be careful with the management of his injury.
“[We were] very excited at watching him bowling along with the England guys, bowling to a mitt,” said Wright. “He looked really good, but we’ve still got to be very aware of where he’s at. In terms of that rehab program, it’s exactly the same timescale as where we were. But I think for him, the best thing he can do is travel with the team, keep his fitness going, and have those physios around him.
“But it was great seeing him back part of the team and you know, we’d love to have him back as soon as possible. But the same thing still exists, he still has this injury. We’re going to do right by him as well.”
Wright had earlier stated that if an opportunity opens up towards the latter stages of the World Cup, there might be a possibility that Archer can get a look in if his rehab goes as per plan. He reiterated that point again.
“We’re doing everything we can to get him ready to be as good as he can be, so if there was an injury, he might be able to replace [someone] at the back end of the tournament. But obviously, we’re still working on his fitness day-by-day to make sure and see where he is, and obviously, we have to keep assessing that.”
Having made his ODI debut in 2019, Archer has managed to play only 21 ODIs so far, 11 of which came in the last ODI World Cup where he played a stellar role in England’s victory.
Subscribe to the Wisden Cricket YouTube channel for post-match analysis, player interviews, and much more.