Home cricket Jofra Archer set for County Championship return as injury comeback steps up

Jofra Archer set for County Championship return as injury comeback steps up

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Joe Denly takes time off for personal reasons while England’s IPL players remain in quarantine

Jofra Archer will continue his return to fitness by playing for Sussex against Kent in the County Championship this week.

Archer’s last first-team appearance was the fifth T20I between England and India in Ahmedabad on March 20. He had surgery on his hand at the end of the same month, following a bizarre injury involving a fish tank, and has been managing an elbow problem which led him to withdraw from the whole of the IPL before its postponement.

Archer got through 29.2 overs for Sussex’s second XI against Surrey last week, though did not bowl in the second innings, and it is understood that his involvement in the Championship fixture this week remained unclear on Wednesday morning.

However, he has since been named in a 13-man squad, and looks set to play his first first-class match for Sussex since September 2018 in a seam attack also featuring Ollie Robinson and the returning George Garton. Ian Salisbury, the club’s head coach for Championship and List A cricket, said: “Any team in world cricket would be excited to name Jof in their squad for a game. Everybody is aware of his talents.”

Salisbury had stressed the need to “look at the bigger picture” following Sussex’s heavy defeat to Northamptonshire last week, saying: “Are we going to force him to come back when he’s actually England’s player? Say he gets an injury and he can’t play in the Test matches this summer – I wouldn’t be very popular.”

Sussex do not have a Championship fixture on May 20, meaning this is likely to be Archer’s final chance to prove his fitness before England’s first Test of the summer, against New Zealand at Lord’s on June 2.

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