Jofra Archer ‘extremely sorry’ as England drop bowler for bio-secure breach
England bowler Jofra Archer has been sent into self-isolation and ruled out of this today’s second Test against the West Indies after “a breach of the team’s bio-secure protocols”.
Both teams have been living, training and sleeping in two ‘bubble’ sites, at the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford, adhering to strict health and safety procedures agreed by both boards, put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Archer has now confessed to breaking those rules and has been removed from the team environment immediately.
Archer said: “I am extremely sorry for what I have done.
“I have put, not only myself, but the whole team and management in danger. I fully accept the consequences of my actions, and I want to sincerely apologise to everyone in the bio-secure bubble.”
Archer, who had been retained for this week’s game in Manchester while James Anderson and Mark Wood were rested, added: “I have put, not only myself, but the whole team and management in danger. I fully accept the consequences of my actions, and I want to sincerely apologise to everyone in the bio-secure bubble.”
A statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board said: “Archer will now commence five days of isolation and will undergo two COVID-19 tests in this period, which have to test negative before his self-isolation period is lifted.
“The West Indies team have been made aware and are satisfied with the measures that have been imposed.”
While it is not yet clear what Archer did to contravene the rules, it is understood the breach did not occur at Emirates Old Trafford, but in between the venues.
At one stage there were serious concerns that the entire English summer programme would be wiped out by Covid-19 – with chief executive Tom Harrison outlining that the worst-case estimates for that scenario involved a near GBP 400million loss to the game.
The West Indies’ willingness to travel and take part in the series was, therefore, a huge boost and involved much meticulous planning. For an individual to have put the mutual trust at risk will, in the circumstances, be seen as a matter of utmost seriousness.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain said on Sky Sports News: “The right steps and measures have taken by England.
“It is naive and silly to get it wrong because of the effort that’s gone in, and the health risk – this is a serious illness and you cannot risk infecting anyone.
“We don’t know it was just a naivety from Jofra or if it was something more serious. He has apologised, it is a very unusual situation that we all find ourselves in and he’s made a mistake.”
Hussain pointed out the issue is an unwelcome one for England captain Joe Root, taking back the reins from Ben Stokes after missing last week’s first Test to attend the birth of his second child.
Hussain added: “His team-mates will be disappointed, as will his captain Joe Root.
“(But) cricketers just move on very quickly. More importantly for Joe Root, you park. Once someone’s done something like this on a Test match morning, you completely park that and leave it with management.
“Joe Root will be focusing on the toss and the team. There are some difficult decisions for Joe Root, not what you need as a captain on the first morning of the Test.”
We never doubted him: Zak Crawley says ‘phenomenal’ Joe Root ‘always comes good’
Root scored an unbeaten 106 as England reached 302 for seven against India.
He’s phenomenal – Zak Crawley hails Joe Root as ‘one of the best’ after century
Root made an unbeaten 106 out of England’s 302 for seven against India.
Joe Root rallies England with patient century in fourth Test against India
Root ended his lean patch with a battling 106 not out, which included a 113-run stand with Ben Foakes, as England went to stumps on 302 for seven.
England batter Ollie Pope unfazed by ‘interesting’ Ranchi pitch for fourth Test
The 26-year-old believes the surface doing a fair bit “definitely brings us into the game”.
Joe Root finds form to steady England after frantic start against India
The Yorkshireman was 67 not out at tea having registered his first fifty in seven innings.
Akash Deep strikes as England lose five wickets in first session
Ben Stokes described the cracked, crumbly surface as ‘interesting’ and ‘like nothing I’ve ever seen before’ this week.
Spinner Rehan Ahmed to leave tour of India because of urgent family matter
England do not intend to draft in a replacement for Ahmed.
Tall order – England opt for height in attack for fourth Test against India
England captain Ben Stokes elected to keep faith with two seamers as Robinson partners James Anderson.
England draft in Ollie Robinson and Shoaib Bashir for fourth Test against India
Fast bowler Mark Wood drops out after an onerous workload in the third-Test defeat in Ranchi.