Jofra Archer will be given the opportunity to prove that his Ashes fitness by playing in a T20 Blast game for Sussex that Friday, along with a Second XI game next week.
Archer was appointed in England’s 14-man squad to the first Test at Edgbaston, but had been omitted from the final XI as he continued his rehab from a side strain he’d endured during the World Cup.
“Jofra is arriving back in rather a serious injury,” said England’s captain, Joe Root, explaining his omission. “We looked in requirements and made a determination on what we thought would best take 20 wickets here.
“It also gives him time to get absolutely ready and fit to make sure he has his workloads up and prepared to go for later in the show if he wants to make an impact. [His fitness] will be tracked throughout the week. It’s important he’s prepared to visit provide something different.”
Archer was one of the celebrities of England’s World Cup win, taking 20 wickets at 23.05 before bowling the decisive Super Over in the final against New Zealand, but admitted he’d played “excruciating” pain throughout the championship.
After a brief excursion back to his native Barbados, Archer took 2 for 21 in his four overs at Sussex’s tied T20 Blast game against Surrey before joining up with the Test squad.
Archer has been released to play in Sussex’s game against Kent on Friday night, and will then make his initial appearance in the Second XI Championship since 2016 when he plays against Gloucestershire in Blackstone, a match that begins on Tuesday.
Sussex also have a T20 against Glamorgan that day, but Archer will rather have the opportunity to prove he’s fit enough to bowl longer spells with all the red ball.
It was suggested that Archer might be loaned to Worcestershire to play in their tour match against Australia, as has occurred with Andrew Strauss (Somerset), Nick Compton (Worcestershire), and James Taylor (Sussex) in preceding years, however he will rather be stored away from the limelight in rural West Sussex.
Olly Stone and Sam Curran, the other fresh members of England’s Edgbaston squad, have also been released to play with in the Blast on Friday night.
Stone will join the Birmingham Bears squad for their game at Trent Bridge, while Curran will perform for Surrey in Taunton.