Sports Monks

Coronavirus: Jofra Archer excluded from England vs West Indies second Test after breaching isolation protocols

Jofra Archer has been excluded from the second Test between England and the West Indies after breaching the England and Wales Cricket Board’s bio-secure protocols. 

The fast bowler, who featured in the first-Test defeat last week, has been placed in self-isolation for five days and he issued an apology after putting ‘the whole team and management in danger’. 

It’s understood that Archer did not breach the protocols in Manchester or at the previous Test in Southampton, but did so while transferring from one ‘bio-secure bubble’ to another.

An ECB statement issued on Thursday morning read: “England’s Jofra Archer has been excluded from the #raisethebat second Test against the West Indies starting today (Thursday 16 July) at Emirates Old Trafford following a breach of the team’s bio-secure protocols.

“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.”

Archer added: “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.

“It deeply pains me to be missing the Test match, especially with the series poised. I feel like I have let both teams down, and again I am sorry.”

It is not yet clear what Archer did to break protocols, but the incident is humiliating for the ECB, who feared that they could lose the entire English summer programme due to the coronavirus pandemic and installed strict protocols in order to resume the sport this month and avoid a potential £400m financial loss.

The West Indies have received large praise for travelling from the Caribbean to Britain and undergoing a lengthy quarantine period in order for the series to go ahead, and Archer’s breach of regulations will cause a great deal of embarrassment for the ECB.

England have confirmed that they will not call up another player in Archer’s absence to the squad for the second Test, meaning that one of Sam Curran or Ollie Robinson will need to be drafted into the side, with Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes also in line for recalls after James Anderson and Mark Wood were both rested.

It means that only Ben Stokes remains from England’s fast bowling attack in Southampton, with a decision to be made this morning on whether all-rounder Curran or uncapped Sussex fast bowler Robinson takes the place of Archer.

Archer failed to take a wicket in the first innings at the Ageas Bowl, but picked up three dismissals in the second innings as England battled in vain to prevent the West Indies from chasing down their match-winning target of 200, which they did with four wickets in hand.

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