The 25-year-old England fast bowler Jofra Archer missed out the ongoing Manchester Test against West Indies due to breaching bio-secure protocols. Former England captain Michael Atherton called it a foolish act while another former English captain Michael Vaughan feels that it was the major blow for the England cricket team.
After losing the Southampton Test by four wickets, which was the opening game of the three-match home Test series against West Indies, both the next two Tests are going to be crucial for the English team, who can’t afford another defeat in this series. While Old Trafford (Manchester) has been scheduled to host both the last two Tests of this series, the second game of this series started on Thursday (16th July).
On Wednesday (15th July), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the 13-member English players for the second Test, where the pacers James Anderson and Mark Wood were rested. Though Jofra Archer was in the 13-member team, he still missed out the second Test due to breaching bio-secure protocols. The fast bowler is now facing five days of isolation along with two COVID-19 tests. To end his self-isolation period, both the COVID-19 tests should be reported negative.
The 52-year-old Michael Atherton feels that it was the foolish act from Archer as his breaching bio-secure protocols will now cost the English team hugely.
Atherton told Sky Sports Cricket broadcast, “It’s very foolish for a number of reasons. One, it cost him a place in the team. Secondly, it’s thrown England’s plans into disarray, a vital Test match that they must win to try and win this series. And thirdly it’s put at risk all the work that ECB have done. These six Test matches, three against West Indies, three against Pakistan, they’ve had to do a tremendous amount of work to get these games on.”
England can’t afford the players to break protocols: Michael Atherton
The ECB has worked very hard to finalise this Test series along with scheduling the upcoming home international series in this COVID-19 crisis. Atherton further pointed out how important these home international schedules.
The former English captain added, “Although the protocols might seem very severe, they’ve had to put those in place to get government approval for these games to happen. And as you know, from broadcast purposes, each of these games are worth about 20 million pound to the ECB, the international summer as a whole about 180 million pound, that’s money for the game. So, they can’t afford the players to break protocols.”
Jofra Archer is a wonderful cricketer: Michael Vaughan
Meanwhile, Michael Vaughan believes that the absence of Jofra Archer will hugely hurt the English team in this Test match.
Vaughan told BBC Radio 5, ‘It’s a blow for the England side, Jofra Archer is a wonderful cricketer. It’s going to make it so much more difficult for England to get back into the series.”
On the other hand, Archer has apologised for this kind of action which has disappointed his team.