The 25-year-old England fast bowler Jofra Archer missed out the ongoing Manchester Test due to breaching team’s bio-secure protocols. While he has faced some criticism for this incident, England Test vice-captain Ben Stokes requested his teammates to support Archer in this tough period.
While the ongoing second game of the three-match Test series between the hosts England and the visitors West Indies began on this Thursday (16th July), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the 13-member squad for this Test on Wednesday (15th July), where Jofra Archer retained his place.
However, just a few hours before the beginning of this Manchester Test, Archer was dropped from the squad due to breaching team’s bio-secure protocols. While the world is continuously fighting against the coronavirus pandemic and the ECB is battling hard to organise the home international season in this pandemic, some former English cricketers have got angry on Archer for making this kind of big mistake.
Jofra is a massive part of this group, as everyone is: Ben Stokes
However, Ben Stokes, who led the English team in the previous Test at Southampton which was the first game of the ongoing series, requested his teammates to support the youngster in his tough time.
Stokes recently said, “For us as players, and as the England cricket group, this is a time where our way of operation really needs to come through. We really need to be there to support Jofra right now. He’s a big talking point right now, but obviously he is by himself because of everything that’s going on at the moment. The worst thing we could do is leave him and say, ‘See you in five days time’.”
Stokes added, “Times like this are very tough and you can feel like you’re by yourself. I don’t think anyone will allow that to happen. Jofra is a massive part of this group, as everyone is. If it was anyone [else], it would have been the same way of handling it. It’s all good talk of being there for people when things are going well and smoothly, but what really comes through is how you operate when someone needs you the most.”
Meanwhile, Archer has escaped from the big punishment as he has been permitted to feature in the third and final Test of this series. He has been fined an undisclosed amount and received an official written warning. Manchester will host the last game of this Test series from 24th July.
At present, Archer is going through the five days of isolation. He will face two COVID-19 tests in this period and both these tests have to come out with negative reports to lift the self-isolation period.