Jofra makes long-awaited injury return while England in West Indies – there’s just one problem

England have blocked Jofra Archer from taking in part in the Indian Premier League next year, but it seems that did not prevent him playing for his old school team in Barbados.

Archer’s appearance on Sunday for Foundation in the Barbados Cricket Association league, taking four for 18, took England by surprise.

The fast bowler had joined England on the Caribbean island where he was born and raised and took part in some bowling drills on Friday as he continues his rehabilitation from the latest setback in his right elbow.

England’s knowledge as director of men’s cricket Rob Key, upon being informed of Archer’s appearance in the second tier of Barbados’ club structure, said: “I’m not aware of that – I’ll find out.”

Jofra Archer is here and is bowling to Harry Brook ????????

— Sam Ellard (@SamEllard) December 8, 2023

The Cricketer website reported one of his wickets was via left-arm spin but the rest with pace. He also contributed 11 with the bat as Foundation replied to Lords 114 with 8-78 on day one of the three-day match. Days two and three will take place next weekend but Archer is thought to have flown back to the UK.

The 28-year-old’s last professional appearance was in May, before he was ruled out of the Ashes by a recurrence of a stress fracture in a right elbow that has caused persistent problems since his breakout year in 2019.

More soreness meant he spent just three days in Mumbai after being named as England’s only “travelling reserve” for the World Cup but he was awarded a two-year central contract in October.

England do not want to rush Archer back and have denied him permission to enter the Indian Premier League auction, with a view to easing him back, possibly for the 2024 T20 World Cup in June.

“Jofra was bowling out here,” Key added. “As you often see with Jofra, he rocks up, ends up bowling 95 miles an hour and he looks like he’s an absolute genius.

“But we’re just going to take it slow with him. We don’t want to put any sort of deadlines on him. That’s what we’ve done in the past, we’re trying to learn from what we’ve done in the past with Jofra.

“We’re not going to say, ‘you need to get back for this part here’. From what they’ve said, an elbow injury is a complicated place to have an injury.

“Jofra was keen to go into the IPL auction but we just feel like the best way to do this now is just for us to be in control of it.

“If it takes an extra couple of months, but he gets another couple of years out of his career and gets back fully – I think he’s worth his while in gold.”

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