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Jofra Archer ruled out of entire IPL 2021

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Archer has been training with Sussex at Hove as he works his way back to fitness

England fast bowler Jofra Archer will not be available for the Rajasthan Royals in the 2021 IPL. The decision was taken on Friday by the ECB who said Archer would be “stepping up” his training intensity after spending time in rehab to tend to the finger surgery carried out recently as well as a longstanding elbow injury.

Archer has been training with Sussex at Hove this week as he works his way back to fitness. England coach Chris Silverwood and elite pace bowling lead Jon Lewis were in attendance to see his progress on Thursday, when Archer underwent a full session of batting and bowling in the nets, followed by some running work.

He was back at the ground on Friday, doing some sprints on the outfield during the lunch break of Sussex’s match with Yorkshire, in which England captain Joe Root is also playing.

“The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that England and Sussex bowler Jofra Archer will not play in the 2021 Indian Premier League,” the ECB said in a media release on Friday. “Archer returned to bowling this week with higher intensity, and the ECB and Sussex medical teams will continue to monitor his progress.”

The ECB pointed out that Archer was “expected” to return to playing cricket in the “next fortnight” if he could “bowl and prepare pain-free.” It is understood that Archer could return to playing in a second XI match in the next fortnight followed by a Championship game for Sussex in mid-May.

The Royals were initially optimistic about Archer’s return, accounting for the strike bowler missing out on at least their first four matches in the league phase. Such optimism evaporated soon after the ECB said on April 11 that while Archer would be returning to training there was no date set for his return to playing.

The other big deterrent for Archer, who was the Most Valuable Player in IPL 2020, was the mandatory week-long quarantine participants have to serve upon entering the IPL bubble this season. All three concerned parties, Archer, the ECB and the Royals, agreed that it would interrupt the fast bowler’s preparation and bowling build-up.

Archer returned to England in March after T20Is in India for surgery on his right hand to remove fragments of glass wedged in during a fish tank accident at home in January. Simultaneously, Archer also received treatment for a longstanding elbow injury for which the fast bowler has taken cortisone injections.

At the outset of this IPL, Kumar Sangakkara, the former Sri Lanka captain and now the Royals’ team director, had said while Archer’s unavailability was a “big blow”, the franchise could not act “selfishly” and would take a “holistic view” about his return.



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Recent Match Report – Middlesex vs Gloucs Group 2 2021

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Gloucestershire 93 for 3 (Lace 31*) and 273 (Bracey 75) beat Middlesex 210 (White 76*, Payne 5-31) and 152 (Gubbins 52, Payne 6-56) by seven wickets

David Payne has been an under-sung asset in Gloucestershire’s ranks for more than a decade now, but he chose quite the stage, and the circumstances, in which to produce the finest performance of his career. With Sky’s commentators looking on for their impromptu feature match at Lord’s, Payne followed up his first-innings five-for with another haul of 6 for 56 – 11 for 87 all told – to cement his side’s table-topping form with a crushing seven-wicket win over Middlesex.

It was Gloucestershire’s fourth win in five, with a draw against Hampshire completing the set, and once again, their batters sealed the deal with ease in the fourth innings – the easiest chase of the lot this time, as Tom Lace, the ex-Middlesex man, completed their pursuit of 93 with a fluent unbeaten 31.

It would have been with some foreboding that Middlesex assessed the rain radar as the third day dawned to dank skies across London. It is one of the curses of playing their cricket at Lord’s – a venue that has had drainage like a sieve since the outfield was relaid almost two decades ago – that play was inevitable at some stage of the day, even as the rest of the country’s first-class cricketers were able to peep through their curtains and hit the snooze button on their alarms.

And so when play resumed after an early lunch at 1.10pm, the challenge for Middlesex was plain. Get a lead, any lead, before an innings that had already been crippled by three wickets late last night caved in completely. Such is the lack of confidence in a line-up that had already been bowled out for less than 150 in all four of its completed matches this season. In that sort of company, their eventual total of 152 was arguably a sign of progress.

What credit Middlesex deserved for their signs of life belonged mainly to Nick Gubbins, who gave himself some sighters in Payne’s opening over of the day, before taking it upon himself to climb into the remaining deficit with three fours in his second – a thick outside edge for four followed by two fuller swings of the bat, through point and long-off respectively, as he aped the proactive approach that Gloucestershire, through James Bracey and Ian Cockbain, had taken in tricky conditions on day two.

Gloucestershire, though, reasserted themselves immediately. Ryan Higgins extracted Ethan Bamber, the nightwatchman, before he could open his account, and with a new man now in his sights, Payne dealt Robbie White – Middlesex’s first-innings resistor – an early sucker punch. White’s fifth delivery was a pinpoint inswinger on an off-stump line that he could neither leave nor play, and ended up chopping onto his own stumps for 1.



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Recent Match Report – Warwickshire vs Worcs Group 1 2021

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Worcestershire 198 for 4 (Libby 75, Haynes 52*) trail Warwickshire 343 (Yates 104, Burgess 101) by 145 runs

It was a day for second chances at Edgbaston.

It’s a generalisation but if, as a cricketer, you have found yourself released by Leicestershire in recent years, it’s probably a sign that it’s time to go and do something else.

That’s not meant to sound harsh. But, over the last decade or so, the club has become something of a final stop for players of a certain age – think Charlie Shreck, Michael Carberry, Mark Pettini, Neil Dexter, Mark Cosgrove, Paul Horton, Matthew Hoggard, Chris Wright et al – and, while there are a few examples of players proving there can be life beyond being released by the club (Darren Stevens and Ned Eckersley spring to mind) they are the sea turtles making it back to the beach on which they were born.

Michael Burgess is the latest to buck the trend. His century here was his first in first-class cricket for three years and suggested that he could yet enjoy a successful career at this level.



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IPL 2021 – KKR’s Prasidh Krishna tests positive for Covid-19

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He is the fourth player from the KKR camp to test positive

India and Kolkata Knight Riders fast bowler Prasidh Krishna has tested positive for Covid-19. Krishna becomes the fourth player from the Knight Riders camp to test positive after Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier and Tim Seifert.

It is understood that Krishna had cleared all the tests before coming out of the IPL bubble in Ahmedabad, where the Knight Riders were playing the second leg, before returning to his home in Bengaluru. ESPNcricinfo understands Krishna flew business class on a commercial airline from Ahmedabad to Bengaluru on May 5, and got a test done on May 6 after feeling uneasy. It was in Bengaluru where Krishna tested positive, but it is believed to be a mild case.

On Friday, the BCCI had named Krishna among the four standbys for the World Test Championship final and the Test series in England.

Krishna, 25, made his India debut earlier this year in the ODI series against England in Pune and picked six wickets in three matches.

Chakravarthy and Warrier were the first two players to test positive for Covid-19 in the bubble not just from the Knight Riders camp but in the 2021 IPL, which was postponed indefinitely. It later emerged that Wriddhiman Saha of the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Amit Mishra of the Delhi Capitals had also tested positive among players.

On Saturday, NZC announced that Seifert had also tested positive and would stay back in India before flying back to New Zealand.

Krishna played seven games for the Knight Riders in the 2021 IPL, picking up eight wickets at an economy rate of 9.16.

Krishna will hope to recover in time to be in a bubble with the Indian side, which is expected to leave for the UK on June 2. Krishna, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Avesh Khan and Arzan Nagwaswalla were among the four standby players named by the selectors as part of the enlarged squad that will remain in the UK from June to September.

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo



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