Good news for England fans perhaps, but Kumar Sangakkara’s promise that Jofra Archer will not be forced back into action for Rajasthan Royals after surgery will not be so welcomed by those organising or consuming the IPL.
Archer has had an ongoing elbow problem and had to have an operation on a hand that he cut on a fish tank, adding to the litany of bizarre sporting injuries, and has already been ruled out of the first four or five games of their IPL schedule, but Sangakkara, Rajasthan’s newly-appointed director of cricket, says he will take advice from the “experts in England cricket who look after Jofra” on when or whether to use him.
The Sri Lankan said that the long-term future of Archer – one of four England players contracted to the Royals – needed to be safeguarded not just for his country but for world cricket. The former MCC president said that a “holistic” approach needed to be taken with regards to his fitness.
“We are certainly hoping that he will be available for some part of the IPL but we have contingency plans in place now and no risks will be taken,” Sangakkara told Sky Sports.
“It’s very important that Jofra gets fit, not just for the IPL, but importantly for his international career. We have to be concerned about him as a player because his career is long-term and is not restricted to just one season and the IPL.
“His value to world cricket and to England cricket is part of our decision and we will be guided by the experts in English cricket who look after Jofra.”
He added: “It’s not something we look at selfishly and we take a holistic view of how important Jofra is. He needs to be in a very good space with his body, and mentally, when he does come here, so we’re all waiting to see how the assessment goes. Once the assessment is done, we’ll know more.”
Archer has proved his value to England in all three formats and with an extraordinarily busy year that takes in five more Tests versus India, a world T20 and an Ashes series at the end of it, managing his workload has become of paramount importance to the England hierarchy.