LONDON (AP) — Jofra Archer joined England’s training session at The Oval on Tuesday ahead of the third ODI against New Zealand, keeping alive the prospect of the fast bowler traveling to next month’s Cricket World Cup as a reserve.
Archer, part of England's World Cup-winning team in 2019, has missed the entire summer because of a stress fracture in his right elbow and was not considered fit enough for a place in the provisional 15-man squad for the tournament in India.
However, with his recovery tracking in the right direction, it's not out of the question that Archer could be picked as cover, joining the squad in India and becoming available if injuries strike during the World Cup.
The 28-year-old Archer linked up with the team in south London as England completed preparations for the third match of the series against New Zealand. He bowled an extended spell off his long run.
David Willey, who was cut from England’s preliminary World Cup squad in 2019 to make way for the newly available Archer, said his teammate was in good rhythm as he returned to the set-up.
“Yeah, he looks in a good place. I don’t know where he’s at fitness-wise, but he’s bowling good wheels out there today,” Willey said.
“Everyone knows how good is he is, what he’s capable of and how he can impact games. So to have him close or not far away from being fit is obviously fantastic news.”
Also present at nets was Andrew Flintoff, the former England captain continuing to work with the team after his surprise return to the fold last week.
Flintoff had been out of the public eye since a serious car accident last December during filming for TV show Top Gear. He was encouraged to get involved by his friend and former teammate Rob Key, who is managing director of men’s cricket at the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Willey has been enthused by the presence of one of the country’s most beloved allrounders, saying: "He’s a legend of the game. I grew up watching him play and to have him here with us, just his presence and everything he’s done in the game, is fantastic."
AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket